Issue October 28, 2008

Los Angeles

Flying Lotus
(WARP)

Flying Lotus is the nom de plume of Steven Ellison, a name you don’t know, although you know his music. He’s been moonlighting for years as one of the beatmakers behind Adult Swim’s commercial interludes. He is also the nephew of a Mr. and Mrs. Coltrane you may be familiar with. Los Angeles is his second full-length, but fans have collected countless EPs and endless Internet leaks of demos and castoffs, bringing his overall catalog to a fairly hefty stack of discs.

His is an impossible-to-nail hybrid of hip-hop and electronica, though Los Angeles leans just this side of the latter. It seems every article and review of Flying Lotus draws a comparison to the late J. Dilla, so why be different? The drums are just about the truest homage as any I’ve heard, without the blatant and often ham-fisted jacking that goes on with today’s MySpace producers. There are highlights aplenty, from the down-tempo Busta of “Golden Diva” to the odd go-go-meets-skater anthem “Parisian Goldfish.” Auntie Alice appears (in sample form) briefly, in a beautiful familial baton passing. Dark and beautiful, this is perfect for a rainy day.