CD Review – Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
Even while locating himself at boundaries blasted open by the collision of hip hop and future dub, the aesthetic of Steven Ellison (aka Flying Lotus) is nevertheless difficult to pinpoint discursively, less by design than by the very nature of his working method. WithCosmogramma, Ellison makes a decisive leap forward into the realm of Afro-futurism, abstracting and recombining the past as a cathartic reflection site for permutations, inscribing thrilling new vectors of sound in the process. He manages the trick of fulfilling expectations while artfully sidestepping them. Critics and interviewers have shackled Ellison with an over determined musical identity based on his famous family (he’s related to both Alice and John Coltrane), but incredibly,Cosmogramma is the sound of sound of Afro-cosmic jazz technologically proliferating in a thousand new directions at once.
Reliving the future’s past through a constellation of references to jazz, psychedelic funk, hip hop, and techno, the music of Cosmogramma never fixates long enough to crystallize; any groove that spontaneously emerges is quickly subverted, churned up in favour of creating new maps and new vectors, new prisms through which to experience forms of music we’ve all heard before.
Best tracks: Computer Face/Pure Being; Tennis; Satelllliiiiiiiteee