Monday, September 08, 2008

Under The Radar: Flying Lotus, "Los Angeles"

Who: Flying Lotus (AKA Steven Ellison) is repping Winnetka, a suburb of L.A.’s San Fernando Valley, and he comes with a serious pedigree: his great-aunt is jazz legend Alice Coltrane. His thick swatches of bottom-heavy instrumental beats are relentlessly abstract and dense with enough musical knowledge to make both Coltranes proud.

What: Los Angeles reflects its titular subject through a blunted haze of harsh juxtapositions. Crush-collision sound collages that invoke early Aphex Twin with hard, metallic rhythms are smoothed over with icy synths and the warm, analog tones Madlib is known for (see “RobertaFlack”). From the jumpy space-jazz of “Comet Course” to the quiet atmospherics of “Auntie’s Lock/Infinitum,” the chaotic sprawl of L.A. is accurately captured in these finely tuned songs.

Made for:
Progressive hip-hop heads looking for freaky beats that still have serious bump. Anyone that still treasures Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works 85-92 and in need of something new; subscribers to U.K. music mag the Wire.

X-Factor: “FlyLo,” as he’s known to fans, is also a party-rocking DJ, with his remixes of Lil Wayne and Kelis bangers making the blogosphere rounds.

(Originally published on