Flying Lotus) is a busy fella. his third full length, Cosmogramma, hit shelves in May. it's a challenging record that incorporates his usual video game beats while straddling the line between hip-hop and avant-garde jazz. a risky dichotomy to bring together, but the risk paid off, and the end result will likely end up on several top ten lists this year. Cosmogramma is dense and, at first listen, messy, but with multiple listens you begin to scratch the surface and the broader picture comes into view.
the jazz element shouldn't surprise us too much, by the way; Ellison is the nephew of the late jazz pianist, harpist, and vocalist Alice Coltrane.
but i digress. Cosmogramma is Ellison swinging for the fences, an effort after which most artists would sit back and chill. somehow, in the time when he's not remixing songs or running his Brainfeeder label, he's managed to produce more music. a mere four months later we have Pattern + Grid World, his newest EP, proof that FlyLo is not most artists. brevity is the only EP thing about it. despite being barely 19 minutes long, it feels like a full length album, partially due to Ellison's ability to pack a lot of sound into a small space, but mainly because he truly is an album artist.
not one to sit in one place too long, Ellison seems to have already forgotten his jazzy new approach, leaning this time on angular beats, squelching synths, and obscure samples. "Jurassic Notion/M Theory," as the name suggests, is FlyLo at his most primitive, an ancient tribe celebrating a successful hunt. on the other hand, "Physics for Everyone!" is the music of a hadron collider.
despite it's grandeur, Cosmogramma isn't an ideal place for first time FlyLo listeners to start. it's long and, honestly, a bit tedious. i'm not saying it's not a great album, but i recommend this EP as an introduction piece.
Flying Lotus - Pieface
Flying Lotus - Jurassic Notion/M Theory
Flying Lotus - Physics for Everyone!