If the name William Benjamin Bensussen doesn’t ring any bells for you, it’s probably because you know the crazy-haired DJ by his stage name, The Gaslamp Killer. Bensussen is a DJ and alternative hip-hop producer based out of Los Angeles, California.
The first thing you’ll notice about The Gaslamp Killer is his full beard and mass of curly locks. He’s Jewish, with Turkish, Mexican, Lithuanian, and Lebanese ancestry, giving him a seriously distinctive look to go with his decidedly distinctive musical stylings.
Bensussen takes his name from the Gaslamp District of San Diego, where he first started DJing back in 2000. As he built his name and his chops, Bensussen moved to Los Angeles in 2006. There, he became a part of the then-nascent Low End Theory, which Michael Krimper called, in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, “LA’s monolithic showcase for uncut beat-driven tracks,”.
Since then, he’s worked as a producer and DJ in collaboration with the likes of Gonjasufi and Flying Lotus. The Gaslamp Killer’s debut solo album, aptly titled “Breakthrough”, came out in September 2012.
The Gaslamp Killer is known for his eclectic sounds, mixing Asian-influenced scales, stuttering and driving beats, and dubstep drones and wobbles. His tracks run from hypnotic to pounding. His goal, he’s said, is to push the limits of the dance floor.
“You know that feeling when you hear that sound that drives you nuts?… I try to play songs that turn people into dancing maniacs as soon as they hear it… I go a bit…nuts,”.
At twenty-nine years old, with thirteen years of DJing and producing under his belt, Bensussen is still picking up speed. He’s played the Voodoo Fest, the Decibel Festival, Austin Psych Fest, and Coachella. At this rate, he’s set to take over the world, driving booties to dance floors all over the world.