Flying Lotus (Cosmograma.)
Yes! The third album from the super man himself: Flying Lotus. Just beautiful. I can’t get enough. It would be a pleasure to be inside this mans head…just watch him work, and maybe even catch a glimpse of where his ideas are born. I’m listening trying to think ‘how can I put this into an interesting and worthy review, that will do justice of how much I enjoy listening to his music?’
Let’s back track a bit and get onto the man himself. Steven Ellison, aka Flying Lotus, is a 26 year old Californian producer. His late great aunt was the exceptional keyboard player Alice Coltrane (yeh, the wife of jazz saxophonist/music legend John Coltrane). Before becoming a producer, Flying Lotus was much more into his film making though. Once, when filming a documentary about his aunt, he was fronted with a question asking if he was a musician. His aunt answered for him: “Oh yeh, this guy’s a musician too, he thinks he’s a film maker though” without seeing any of his films its just so unbelievably true.
Flying Lotus is a kind of ‘experimental’ producer compared to others, but it works and I wouldn’t really want it any other way. His songs ooze so much groove and feel for primarily electronic based tracks. Previous album ‘Los Angeles’ is amazing in its own right, and it seems almost impossible to think how someone could come up with something just as good (if not better) to proceed it, yet he has. He has progressed his sound from the last album, but you know from start to finish its Flying Lotus, constantly keeping your ears grateful. If my ears could, they would probably try and kiss him. Imagine for a moment Roots Manuva, with a throat infection, having a game of frisbee in the park with Four Tet/Hudson Mohawke/Dorian Concept/Bonobo, injected with the heaviest bass, fired into space inside a giant Super Nintendo…snares and kicks get cut up like a carrot in your mother’s roast, meet a few jazz legends along the way and get compressed down into a single object, itself unknown, but there’s nothing cooler than it! They come smoothly back down to earth through the most beautiful sounding harp known to grace on this here earth, just lightly caressing the right strings and bouncing off the smokiest jazz toms in Chicago town. This doesn’t even paint the whole Flying Lotus journey, but I’d like to think it gets close.
Maybe you could just say there’s some hip hop, some jazz, some breakbeat, some lo-fi, some 8 bit, some ambient, some dance, some bass, some dubstep. But hey, that doesn’t ask you to use your imagination to interpret, it doesn’t convey the sheer brilliance of this guys imagination and skill. Some people could sit down with those kind of ingredients and make music, but you would easily be able to write out their recipe, the results feeling a certain lack of something. But Flying Lotus just does it right, a complete cooking pot where you just get a taste of the right things, and no matter how many times you eat it, you get a different flavour, yet love it all the same if not even more than your first taste.
If you like music you should appreciate this album, if however you like good music you may wet yourself a bit. Anyone who’s new to Flying Lotus I’d say supposing you enjoy the water in the end of the pool of music that is Bonobo, Roots Manuva, Cinematic Orchestra, Jaga Jazzist, Four Tet, Dorian Concept, Hudson Mohawke, Jurassic 5, Bop, Circa, Quantic, Burial, Chemical Brothers (plus loads more, and like everyone else thats good in the world), alas go for the 20m diving board the other end – the water is just as divine. If you know and are already a fan of Flying Lotus I’m sure by now you already have the album and love it just as much as I do…I really enjoy this album, is it obvious?!?!
Words Sam Cunningham.