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Producing intense, provocative music informed by ballroom culture, noise, R&B, and hip-hop, Lotic (J'Kerian Morgan) is one of the most notable figures associated with the loosely defined experimental club scene. Originally from Texas, the Berlin-based artist released a series of well-received mixtapes during the first half of the 2010s, including 2014's Damsel in Distress. Following 2015 EPs Heterocetera and Agitations, Lotic released her full-length debut, Power, in 2018, marking a shift toward vocal-based songwriting. On 2021's Water, she further refined her avant-garde pop sound. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Morgan moved to Austin to study electronic music composition and saxophone at the University of Texas. While there, she became immersed in DJ'ing for her college radio station and at clubs, connecting with Ben Aqua of the online dance music label #FEELINGS, which released Lotic's debut EP, More Than Friends, in 2011. The following year, Morgan moved to Berlin to find more like-minded artists; meanwhile, her music attracted the attention of the Sci Fi & Fantasy label, who released the Sankofa/Glittering single early in January 2013 and the more complex, melodic Fallout EP that October. Morgan also co-founded the Janus collective, a crew of American expatriates including fellow producer/DJ M.E.S.H., and became one of the DJs at their monthly parties at Chesters, a club in Kreuzberg. Early in 2014, a bad breakup and fewer but more ambitious Janus events gave Morgan more time to focus on Lotic, and she crafted the Damsel in Distress mixtape -- which juxtaposed her own dense, wrenching tracks with an otherworldly reworking of Beyoncé's "Drunk in Love" among other songs -- in two weeks. Morgan expanded one of the mixtape's tracks, "Heterocetera," into her 2015 debut EP for Tri Angle. A digital EP titled Agitations was released by Janus toward the end of the year. Additionally, Lotic remixed songs by Björk, Dan Bodan, and Ben Frost. Following a hiatus as well as a period of homelessness, Lotic returned in 2018 with her full-length debut, Power. Incorporating Morgan's vocals for the first time, the album included empowering lyrics questioning racial and sexual identities. She signed to Houndstooth in 2020 and released the singles "Burn a Print" and "Cocky." In 2021, she released her second album, Water, a reflection on love, loss, and resilience.
© Heather Phares & Paul Simpson /TiVo


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