Flying Lotus Portrait. Quelle: Wikimedia/Wikipedia (20.3.2017)
Steven Ellison, alias “Flying Lotus”, shows yet again that he is able to show progression and take his sound to the next level in his unique and innovative sophomore album Los Angeles.
What you’ll notice straight from the beginning is the use of unique sounds and textures throughout the whole record, which Ellison not only creates with his synthesizer plugins but also through the modification of samples; it is especially noteworthy that Ellison utilizes many samples that stray from the usually sampled genres of jazz and r&b, and is able to give these samples a completely different role in a different context. The tribal sounding percussive sequence found in “Camel” for example was actually modified from an early 45 B-Side from Aynsley Dunbar’s Retaliation. With the use of more modified samples and unconventional analog synthesizer plugins while still being aware of maintaining a careful balance between the two elements, the tracks are given an organic, almost natural and timeless electronic sound.
Other more atmospheric tracks such as “Brainfeeder” and “Orbit 405” show Flying Lotus thinking of a style inspired maybe by listening to Klaus Schulze or Tangerine Dream, nevertheless in a much smaller format (also note the use of the vinyl hum and cracking as a lo-fi/aesthetic element).
“Infinitum”, “RobertaFlack” and “Testament” prove that Ellison can collaborate with vocalists and still maintain the tone of the album.
Steven Ellison has created a work that can be regarded more than a collection of instrumental tracks; the music works in it’s order as does a series of paintings. And that’s exactly what this album (just like DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing…..) underlines; that instrumental electronic music can be viewed as art, and that a DJ can create a standalone record that doesn’t bore you to death with looping sequences and the same drum sounds.
It is without a doubt that Flying Lotus has revolutionized the meaning of the beat and has set the bar high for other electronic musicians of this generation.