Just a few days ago, Lotus released the free sampler Unoriginals, a nine track, 75-minute showcase of the band’s arsenal of covers from their 2015 winter tour. With only a few weeks before their spring tour, which will the band to Portugal, the Midwest, Southeast, Florida, Japan, Hawaii, The Netherlands, and California, this mix of live recordings is just what fans need to keep dancing in the interim. This mix is hot.
Kicking off with a 10- minute rendition of Todd Terje’s “We Are Now Connected,” Lotus treats its listeners to a fiery House cut in live setting. The track peaks hard, with drummer Mike Greenfield keeping the pace as the brothers Luke and Jesse Miller navigate the digital waters through white caps and ten-foot tubes of unadulterated electro-dance majesty.
Herbie Hancock’s jazz standard “The Traitor,” recorded at Stubbs BBQ in Austin, TX, takes a on a new style that still remains true to the “post-bop” Hancock sound. This rendition is extra special, as it features Kung Fu members Todd Stoops on keyboard, Tim Palmieri on guitar, and Adrian Tramotano adding to percussion.
The Talking Heads’ “Crosseyed and Painless,” the sampler’s first selection to feature vocals, is executed with patient and delicate abandon, recorded as the first set closer from The Regency Ballroom show in San Francisco, CA last February. The track features Gabriel Otto of Pan Astral on the mic, who joined the band during Lotus’ their Talking Heads Deconstructed set at Gathering of The Vibes in Bridgeport, CT in August of 2014.
Guitarist/Keyboardist Luke Miller’s mix continues with a selection from funk/Motown studio all-stars Vulfpeck, possibly the only other band in America gaining steam and notoriety as quickly as Lotus has these last few years. “It Gets Funkier” is a dead-pan ringer of the Los Angeles based Michigan rocker’s classic.
Deadmau5’s “Ghosts N Stuff” is the heaviest of the selections, thrashing in at 150mph recorded at South Side Music Hall in Dallas, TX, a highlight of the Winter 2015 tour. Next up is a nod to Shuggie Otis, the Los Angeles guitar prodigy turned hermit, showcasing the band’s eclectic taste and inspiration of legendary performers with his most well known track, “Strawberry Letter 23.”
Closing the mix with perfect placement, we have the electro-house Mord Fustang’s “We Are All Connected” and a final cut from The Talking Heads “Once in A Lifetime,” recorded in Seattle and once again featuring Gabe Otto on vocals.
The high quality compilation recording, first made available via download at a “name your own price” format, is a wonderful nugget of Livetronica for the longtime fan or a newbie of Lotus’ sound. Whether you stream or purchase, be sure to prepare yourself for involuntary explosions of sonic joy between your ears as you careen down the sidewalk, sit crammed in a subway car, punch keys at your work desk, or at home alone or amongst friends. Unoriginals is a certified club banger.
Download the album in full via Bandcamp.