You work as a music reviewer, you get dozens of CDs a week and you think you’re totally on top of everything that’s out there at the moment. And then Flying Lotus comes along to completely throw a spanner in the works. Flying Lotus is pretty much the epitome of everything that’s awesome about experimental music, without all of the pretension and ‘You’ll never understand the undertones of the undertones” bullshit that is usually associated with said genre. From what I can tell, he writes stuff mostly on computer and then palms it off to the best musicians he can find. Flying Lotus can do that because he’s actually music royalty. The epic saxophonist John Coltrane was his uncle, so you could say he’s got that willingness to push the envelope and hang with the best of the best flowing in his veins. What’s surprising is how listenable Flying Lotus’ music is. When the only guest on your record is Thom Yorke, you’d be expecting something that won’t warm your ears the first time you hear it. But on the contrary, FlyLo’s third record, Cosmogramma is as cool as it is challenging. ‘Do the Astral Plane’ would seriously work in clubs, it has the right blend of futuristic and vintage to keep everyone relatively happy.
Flying Lotus has considerable influence amongst people who are considerably influential. He also mamages to co-exist in a very real and very hyperreal world, where finding out about him as as likely as solving the Da Vinci code. ‘Do The Astral Plane’ is like stepping into a parallel universe where everything seems strange yet still vaguely familiar. You can’t tell if there’s looping vocals or programmed synths, or if the percussion that kicks in halfway through is the sound of a hundred fingers clicking in unison. I spend so much time listening to music as a product that sometimes I forget to appreciate it as an art form but with Flying Lotus, that’s all it ever is. The fact that this segment if in 4/4 time and has a discernible structure makes it less complicated than some of Cosmogramma‘s other tracks, but no less interesting. Apparently, this guy is in super-high demand as a hip hop remixer. There’s elements of the genre in his work, but then, there’s also elements of pretty much everything but the kitchen sink. He’s also signed with Warp Records, home to Jamie Lidell and a whole bunch of similar artists who share nothing in common but a simple desire to nudge the edges of the aural sphere a bit further each time they go into the studio. Sound trippy? Sound whack? You don;t know the half of it…
Flying Lotus – ‘Do The Astral Plane’
More Lotus invasions .