Lortica is the alias of Sydney artist Alister Hill who creates murky soundscapes from found cassettes which are processed and then layered via a vintage Tascam 424 multitrack cassette recorder. This process of recording is important to point out as it provides context and lends the recordings a mystical air as we picture Hill locked away in a cramped room, the walls lined with stacks of cassettes found in the forgotten recesses of dusty op shops.
The SAD LTD EP, which finds a suitable home on local Sydney label Valley Spirit, is a suite of tape explorations presented in five parts, each labelled with respective roman numerals from I to V. From the outset the listener is lulled into a hypnagogic state, absorbed by the weathered loops that haunt Hill’s music.
The EP begins with the eerie uncertainty of parts I and II, which then dissolve into the suffocating bliss of part III, evoking an atmosphere of sedated euphoria further heightened by the pitched down dialogue of a meditation guide.
Part V closes the EP in a similarly swampy vein but slowly builds in intensity until we are ripped from our dream state, leaving us clouded and disoriented, uncertain of what has come before.
The unassuming pieces on The SAD LTD EP inhabit a decaying world of introspection whose subtleties can be easily overlooked if not given the attention they deserve. This is music best experienced through headphones, which capture the various nuances and allow you to become an inhabitant of the sonic universe that Lortica creates.