Lotus: Escaping Sargasso Sea

By: Josh Potter

In the manner of the Disco Biscuits' Trance Fusion Radio series, this two-disc set stresses the "live" in Lotus' livelectronica tag. More organic than their laptop-savvy peers, the percolating grooves feature riffs-a-plenty, an instrumental rock tapestry closer to say Tortoise than pure machine music. A product of patient democracy, subtle inner voices blossom from the self-restraint exhibited by each musician. However, with their limited toolbox and collective vision, the Philadelphia band (who curiously came together at a Mennonite college according their MySpace page) is encumbered in a way a single DJ never would be. The tracks rarely evince the depth of a laptop-wizard, the crescendo of Krautrockers or the peaked exaltation of the most inspired jammers.

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[Published on: 12/5/07]

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rulosa01 starstarstarstarstar Wed 12/5/2007 08:06PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

got this a while ago, fucking sick album people pick this one up

"The tracks rarely evince the depth of a laptop-wizard"

sir, I disagree

Yamar68 Wed 12/5/2007 08:48PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Great advice rulosa01.....I read the official review above and couldnt guite figure out if the review was positive or negative. It was a poor review at best. I just needed someone to say "sick album"!! I picked it up today and your absolutely right on!! If you read the review like I did and are still trying to ponder the "product of patient democracy", take rulosa01s advice and go pick up this "fucking sick album"!!

DJ Saturday Baxter Wed 12/5/2007 09:06PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

DJ Saturday Baxter

They have this one song called "suitcase" it is funky as shit. I spin this at my gigs.

akeay starstarstar Wed 12/5/2007 09:46PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Checking out this album right now. Got to say, it's...it's pretty damn good stuff. Dig the imagery in the review.

Shem-Rah Bob starstarstarstarstar Wed 12/5/2007 11:22PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Shem-Rah Bob

This album was sick, i was turned off by some crappy recorded lotus shows and then i got this and it blew my mind.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Thu 12/6/2007 03:44AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

this the best double live jam release of all 2007. now why it took this long to post a cd review I will never know. I just submitted one for The Harlem Experiment,but I guess they if they use it, it wont be til six months after its been out. Like this one. Its all clear to me now :)

diggy starstarstarstarstar Thu 12/6/2007 06:38AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

This album is great, been playing in my livin' room for 2 days now... but I have a question. does anyone have the previous live album from these guys? I forget the name off-hand but I saw it on Amazon. From listening to the above album I would assume this other one kicks ass as well, does anyone know for sure? I need better software on my computer before I can get anything else off the net and I'm jonesin' to hear more from these guys. Damn you Vista!!! Please let me know....thx.

nfenne star Thu 12/6/2007 06:50AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Crappy review. Since this album has been out for a long time now you think the reviewer would have had more time to listen to it and write a much more thorough ASSessment.

Dig, their other live album is called Germination and is definately worth owning. I bought it at one of their shows for $10. I also recomend their 1st studio album Nomad. I liked that one better than Strength of Weak Ties.

nfenne Thu 12/6/2007 06:51AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Miles, I can't help but think that your reviews would be better than what was published above. Post them in the forums next time when you submit them.

msb696 Thu 12/6/2007 06:53AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


wtf. That wtas a terrible music-bable review.

Lotus kicks some serious ass. Look for a tour announcement soon and check them out!

aquariumdrunk starstarstarstar Thu 12/6/2007 07:12AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


I know I'll catch flack for this, but after living with this one for a couple of weeks, I can see where he's coming from on their limitations. Although, the Sunrain>Flower Sermon>Sunrain is one of the more blissful things I've heard on record for 2007. It's just that, like so many "jam" bands, they benefit GREATLY from that live setting. But even knowing how these tunes improve when they're killing it right in front of you, sometimes this album falls into the background for me.

The thumbs down button is just a click away! :)

diggy Thu 12/6/2007 07:20AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


That's exactly what I was hoping to hear....sweet. thank you

moejoerisin Thu 12/6/2007 08:21AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


nfenne - you can't just write this off as a 'crappy review.' you have to think first of all that someone wrote this, and i bet you'd be pretty proud of this if you had published it. i think it was a very good review - well written, fair, and honest. he hit on the band's fortes as well as its drawbacks on the release. a job well done, mr. potter.

HOPEFULPHAN starstarstarstarstar Thu 12/6/2007 09:22AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

ive had this album since june, listen to it all the time, and have never thought they had limitations. played it alot at 10klf and everyone who heard it that didnt know what is was loved it up aswell. these guys are great. i just dont see where this limitations shit is coming from. i saw them in mpls last month and not once did i think they left a jam short or should have done more with a tune than they did.

nfenne Thu 12/6/2007 11:55AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


moejo, I hear where you're coming from but I find that the brevity of the review limited the author's ability to validate any of his criticisms.

I used to write music reviews for a local magazine and I would be ashamed to have written this article. I'm not a schooled writer nor a musical elitest but I can at least give the impression from a review that I listened to the album more than once.

For starters, the author looked at their myspace page, saw they were from Philly, and started the review w/ a comparo to the Disco Biscuits. I would be reluctant to compare this CD to the transfusion series because the Biscuits went into a studio and overdubbed vocals, harmonies and fixed other mistakes from the live show. That's why they sound A LOT better than "The Wind at Four to Fly". To my knowledge Sargasso Sea is truely a live album and is meant to stand alone rather than be part of a series.

I'm not a fan of Lotus who's pissed because someone wrote a review that wasn't completely positive.

gmoo Thu 12/6/2007 01:56PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Bottom line...listen to Lotus. 'Nuff said.

moejoerisin Thu 12/6/2007 02:04PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


nfenne - at least you could back up your criticism with evidence.. i hear you on the 'whole brevity thing,' but i think i remember someone saying jambase is doing shorter reviews now for CDs.

moecheeseplease Thu 12/6/2007 02:58PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


this is a cd review?

Randi Thu 12/6/2007 05:06PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Hi all…I’m Randi and I work for JamBase.

I wanted to offer a little perspective on your comments. As you might have noticed over the past few weeks, the JamBase CD Review section is actively moving towards shorter, more concise reviews.

We made this decision in order to increase band coverage and the number of reviews that we can provide. We feel that there is more value in turning more reviews around, given the timely nature of releases. In the future, some releases might receive longer looks, but many more will be closer to 100-250 words that will offer some snapshot of an artist's sound.

If we find that this isn’t working for you, our community, we will reevaluate at the appropriate time. Thanks in advance for your patience.

1048 starstarstarstarstar Thu 12/6/2007 06:18PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Alright I understand that jambase is moving towards shorter reviews but shouldn't that mean that the reviews come out in a timely manner. This CD is months old...

rulosa01 starstarstarstarstar Thu 12/6/2007 06:52PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

aquariumdrunk - gave you a thumbs up for being honest, critical, and not a dick at the same time (very hard for most people around here)

Randi - cool to hear direct from someone at jambase about this. this is a reason i visit this site

jesposito Thu 12/6/2007 07:34PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Its really nice to read a discussion for a change where people aren't being total assholes towards one another because of differences in opinion! Love Lotus, amazing live band, make sure you see them if you ever get a chance!

ROCvibes Thu 12/6/2007 08:58PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


sick cd...like many people have mentioned, ive had this months. I just dont understand especially since reviews are getting shorter how it could come out this late. o well, never stop readin up on jambase, just little more up to date w/ my lotus releases

akeay Thu 12/6/2007 10:02PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Thanks for the comment Randi. I think it's worth pointing out that music reviews come in different shapes and sizes. Look at Relix or Rolling Stone, or even your local free times newspaper and you'll see some reviews that are more along the lines of 1000 words while others are little more than blurbs. I challenge anyone to write a better review with the given word count. Also, this review isn't that untimely. It was just reviewed in the latest Relix. Hell, I hadn't even heard of these guys until I read that review, but please don't hate me for that. I think they're a great band with great potential.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/7/2007 04:23AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

well at least Lee at the HGMN will publish my reviews.

It totally SUCKS to spend my TIME voluntarily to have now written about three reviews of good cds for this site, to not have any published.

what ever. I just will have to use my time more wisely.

and its true. the time frame for some of these reviews is ridiculous.

Lotus was out early this year and now DEC we get the review. that is too slow. sorry ya'll.

I wonder, is it because Jambase has not heard it yet, that they will not post it until they do???? hell I have no idea what sorts of standards are in place for this kind of thing.

nakedmusic star Fri 12/7/2007 10:43AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Escaping Sargasso Sea came out in May. So this review was released over 6 months after the album came out. Lotus actually has already released another album since then! It's a remix album called Copy, Paste, Repeat. With people like DJ Harry, Juan Maclean, Telepath, Pnuma Trio, etc. So we can expect that review in May I guess.

It's one thing keeping a review, but to not even mention a single track. That seems to be sloppy. Anyway, just buy the disc and judge for yourself, or check out some of the recent shows on archive. The two shows in Philly over Thanksgiving are up there with a great sounding recording, sbd I believe.

Here's the links



JonKron starstarstarstar Wed 12/12/2007 12:38PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Well, I would say the review leaves a little to be desired. I prefer a little more in depth to give me a sense of the album - but it is a live album so describing their music will suffice I guess... The bottom line is that this album is quite extraordinary in sound quality and is equally footed in blues/jam/dance/groove. I imagine it has to top the list of releases in 07', live, studio or otherwise.

On the other hand, the recent aforementioned remix release leaves a lot to be desired. More for the fact that there are only 6 root tracks in 12 remixes. I would rather hear the "best version" of each remix. Lotus has a fine and worthy catalog of music and they could avoid utilizing 3 remixes of the same song.

Perhaps it was merely an effort to stimulate DJ rotation - which they do a better job of achieving by releasing the source files for "Bubonic Tonic" so everyone can play remixer (http://www.lotusvibes.com/remix/). That is a a redeeming stroke of genius.

ach245 starstarstarstarstar Wed 12/12/2007 01:18PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Lotus is good at stuff!!!