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Review: Flying Lotus – You’re Dead

Flying Lotus on Cone Magazine

Californian Flying Lotus released at the end of 2014 ‘Your Dead’, a philosophical look at the themes of mortality with a metaphysical approach to the nature of existence, especially highlighted in ‘Never Catch Me Feat Kendrick Lamar’. Lotus’ body of work tends to touch on personal themes in his life such as his first album with his year of birth, towards the city where he found his musical identity, onwards to both a look at the universe and his forth album taking a more internal look at the nature of the conscious and sub-conscious.

The artwork of the album ties in with these themes, drawing in psychedelic patterns and colours with figures of skeletons, people ripping there internal organs from their bodies and dissected humans.

But moving on from the astheatics, we get to the 19 track album. It’s a collection of neo-Jazz, frenetic, hip hop and soul orchestrated ballads. Comprised mostly of instrumentals that have an almost miles davis feel to them, you begin with the introductory track that feels almost like a film score, which crescendos into madness, like a portal into Lotus’ inner mind.

We are now transported on a metaphysical jazz train through a linear wormhole of songs that seems to be treated more like a mixtape you’d find on Hades iPod. This trip is suddenly halted by Dead Man’s Tetris, featuring Snoop Dogg & Captain Murphy. A more hip hop inclined number with morbid references to the conclusion that “your already dead”. These tracks seems to be inspired by the deaths flying lotus has been exposed to in his life, both friends and family.

The more atmospheric track ‘Coronus, the terminator’ has an almost Burial feel to it, with light percussion and slow building synthey textures. Recently a music video was dropped for this track on his website directed by young replicant. Steven Ellison commented recently on this track saying “For me, Coronus is one of the most important moments on You’re Dead! and holds ideas I’m planning to explore in my future work. I’m happy that the visual encapsulates the meaning of the record and this ambition.”

Coronus seems to mark the point of no return, like a milestone into the afterlife. The following two tracks seem to take on a much more tender approach of soulful, atmospheric soundscapes with elegance and delicacy, almost like a piece form Brian Eno.

‘Ready Err Not’, one of our most favoured tracks on the album is a playful instrumental of plucky stabs and hits with morbid tones. This track is also accompanied with a rather eerie, uncomfortable video that offers you a visual representation of the narratives portrayed in his album.

Your’e dead, Flying Lotus fifth album seems to be in keeping with the organic and original style of his discography. Flying Lotus doesn’t seize to impress us in this latest addition with its clean sound, and live feel. It’ s body of work that seems to be building to something more personal with Ellison. As if he’s on a metaphorical pilgrimage to the centre of himself. Within mallows hierarchy of needs, Lotus is on a journey to self actualisation and were all invited.


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