All the Secrets: Metzger interviews Flying Lotus for DAZED
11.27.2012
06:25 am

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Music

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Flying Lotus


Flying Lotus and his Buddy. Photo by Kevin Amato.

The October issue of DAZED featured a long Q&A I conducted with the 28-year-old beats maestro Flying Lotus at the Silverlake home of his manager back in late July. Flying Lotus, or Steven Ellison as he is also known, is a very impressive young man. Possessing a hyper-intelligent, restlessly creative temperament, Fly Lo works from a broad, culturally clued-in sonic palette that makes his music seem so exotic and boundaryless. I’d gotten an advance of his upcoming Until the Quiet Comes from Warp Records and had listened to it twice that morning (and flipped over it, I should add) and I was especially interested in finding out about his creative process.

Another thing that I found fascinating about Ellison was how good of a friend he seems to his own friends. I only met him once, for about an hour, but it was very apparent to me that he had a strong paternal/fraternal bond with a tight group of talented young Los Angeles-based musicians and he was set on seeing them succeed like he has and of pulling them onboard the same career train he’s on, via his Brainfeeder label. Ellison is a serious guy, an extremely rare mixture of a creative musical mind and a good businessman/marketeer, but it’s also obvious that he’s someone with morals who was raised properly. He’s a deep dude and I think that comes across in the interview.

From the article, online at DAZED Digital:

Until the Quiet Comes sounds even more powerfully psychedelic than its genre-hopping, category-resistant predecessor. Its sound stretches and redefines what can be done with electronic beat music, taking the listener on a moody, idiosyncratic journey best served by a late-night spin with the listener strapped in, well and truly stoned to the gills. The first single from the album, already out, sees eccentric earth mother Erykah Badu lend her voice to the tripped out, amorphous “See Thru to U”.

Possessing preternatural rockstar cool, even within the whirlwind of activity – stylists, photographers, videographers, journalists, managers – bustling around him, Steven Ellison aka Flying Lotus is a man with a mission. As it’s one of the hottest days of the summer, today that mission is making some iced sangria. (“Everybody has that one thing they’re really good at making,” he says. “I’m good at making sangria.”) His super-chill chihuahua, Buddy (“he jumped in my car one day and just stayed”), is always by his side.

Tell me about Until the Quiet Comes.
There’s a lot to say about it, but at the same time I feel like this shit speaks for itself, you know? It took me some time to put it together, mostly because I was looking to put out something I was really sure about instead of putting records out just because I’m making music. I wanted to make something that was really reflective of my life, kind of like a diary of where it took me, and I wanted to put those things forward. So yeah, here we are. (laughs)

The album is very different to previous ones. Is that a conscious thing because of how widely imitated your sound has been?
Yeah, but I had to set some new goals and challenges for making music anyway. I had enough time to sit with the old album and think, ‘Oh well, next time, I should do it like this.’ There are a lot of reasons why I wanted to change. I wanted to make sure I don’t say the same things twice. Even where I’m at now from making that record is different.

How do you compose? What’s your creative process like?
I like to gather a bunch of sounds, just random things, whether it be from vinyl or something off the Internet, or just shaking things around or playing keyboards and recording it. Then I have this huge cache of material to work with and build from. And that’s what usually becomes the tracks. I feel like it’s a good thing for me to separate the two (compiling sounds vs composing with them). Sunday is a good day to just record things, to take things and experiment to find things that are reflective of what’s happening or what I’m feeling, and then I apply those things on another day when I have the spark to put something together.

In the last few years, you’ve been able to travel the world in style. How has it influenced your music?
It affects me in a really big way, actually, because I’m a homebody. When I’m in LA I’m pretty much at home working all the time. So when I get to travel, I go to venues and festivals and hear things that I’ve been missing because I’ve been in my cave. I’ll get to check out all these things that I’ve been hearing about, all the cutting edge shit, because I’m out there. I bring that back to the studio. Influence, motivation and inspiration. I can bring that back and it’s really helpful.

Read the entire thing at DAZED Digital
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Flying Lotus: Until The Quiet Comes
09.10.2012
11:41 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Flying Lotus


 
Behold the outstanding new short film from the forthcoming Flying Lotus album Until the Quiet Comes. I suggest watching it full-screen and with the sound turned up LOUD for maximum effect.

I’ve had an advance of Until the Quiet Comes for some time now (I interviewed Flying Lotus for a feature—maybe it’s even the cover story—in the next issue of DAZED) and it’s a real winner. Head music to be sure—FlyLo told me that his ideal listener was someone stoned and listening with headphones after midnight—the shimmering, dreamy, tripped out Until the Quiet Comes is one of the most “futuristic” things I’ve heard all year. The guy has reinvented his own (much imitated) sound and loopy beats in a way that is going to delight fans. Delight and leave them flabbergasted, it’s that good of an album. He’s traveled light-years ahead of, well, even his own Cosmogramma here. His innovative new beats this time out will be a lot harder for everyone else to copy, I’ll tease you with that much.

This gorgeous surrealistic short was directed by Kahlil Joseph and was shot on 35mm film by cinematographer Matthew J. Lloyd. Shot at the Nickerson Gardens public housing complex in the Watts section of Los Angeles. You seeing Flying Lotus for just a moment, in the car before the 2-minute mark.

The soundtrack is comprised of “See Thru To U” (featuring Erykah Badu), “Hunger” and “Getting There” (both featuring Niki Randa).

The new Flying Lotus album Until the Quiet Comes is out October 1st on Warp Records. Flying Lotus will be appearing at the Hollywood Bowl (w/ Animal Collective) on September 23 in Los Angeles, CA.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Flying Lotus re-scores Harry Smith’s ‘Heaven and Earth Magic’
02.27.2012
04:54 pm

Topics:
Art
Hip-hop
Movies
Music
Occult

Tags:
Harry Smith
Flying Lotus


 
Flying Lotus and Harry Smith, two great tastes that taste great together!

Tomorrow night, our friends at Cinefamily present this inspired avant garde pairing:

Reprising an unforgettable show commissioned for the Ann Arbor Film Festival, L.A.’s own Flying Lotus joins Animation Breakdown for a unique screening of animator/folk music archivist/string figure enthusiast/culture hound extraordinaire Harry Smith’s 66-minute animated collage film Heaven and Earth Magic. The marriage of Smith’s ‘50s folk art mindset and Flying Lotus’ genre-defying 21st century sound may seem at odds, but they are both equally brilliant alchemical cut-and-paste samplers of world culture—and as kindred as spirits can get. Heaven and Earth Magic is a testament to the ability of animators to act as magicians, breathing life into even the most static, eyeworn 19th-century imagery—and as Flying Lotus contributes audio from disparate yet familiar sources (drum machine, turntable, laptop, synthesizer), two giants of sampling unite across time, and Smith’s playful experiments are imbued with a new, positively cosmic energy. This is one-of-a-kind live pairing you are not likely to see again!

Tickets $12, Tuesday, February 28th, 8:00pm at Cinefamily

Below, an excerpt from Harry Smith’s “Heaven and Earth Magic.” If you aren’t lucky enough to live in LA (I love saying that) as you’re watching it, maybe listen to Cosmogramma?
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Stunning slow motion video of Tokyo


 

 
Video by Alex Lee with music by Flying Lotus.

 

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Soul man Bilal takes it to the next “Levels” with a freaked-out Flying Lotus-directed video

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Innovative L.A.-based electronic music label Plug Research scored big-time when they signed Philly-raised soul singer Bilal Sayeed Oliver in the middle of 2009 to release his revelatory sophomore album Airtight’s Revenge. Bilal left his former label Interscope soon after they shelved his proposed second album, Love For Sale, based on their skepticism of its commercial potential and the fact that it was leaked before official release. Seems like an aphorism for the steady decline of the music industry to me.

Directed by stoned prodigal son Flying Lotus (damn, does that mean he did all that animation?), the recently released video for Bilal’s track “Levels” seems to evince how eagerly the singer has swallowed the red pill. This is some high high Afromythofuturistic material right here.
 

FULL SCREEN
The Sounds of VTech / Bilal Levels   

 
Get: Bilal - Airtight’s Revenge [CD]

 

Written by Ron Nachmann | Discussion
Flying Lotus, Madlib, J-Rocc, DJ Nobody and more at Cornerstone fundraising bash

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Flying Lotus
 
To call any one event in Los Angeles “party of the year” might be stretching it a bit. But what certainly looks to be the party of the month, is coming up soon with Cornerstone Research Collective’s fundraiser for MAPS and psychedelic chemist Sasha Shulgin’s medical bills on December 11th at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

With a formidable line-up including Madlib, J-Rocc, Flying Lotus and (former Dangerous Minds contributor) Elvin Estela AKA DJ Nobody, this bash for a good cause featuring LA’s hottest underground musical talent simply can’t be beat. This party is going to be a monster.

Where: The Historic Masonic Lodge, Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 600 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90038

When: Saturday Decemenber 11th, 9p.m. to 3a.m. Free parking on site. $25 in advance, $35 on the door. Get tickets here before they all sell out.
 
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Above, Madlib, looking for his spliff.

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Flying Lotus: Kill Your Co-workers
10.18.2010
08:41 am

Topics:
Animation
Art
Hip-hop
Music

Tags:
Flying Lotus
beeple

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“Kill Your Co-workers,” the latest video from the genre-hopping maestro of Los Angeles, Flying Lotus. From the new EP,  Pattern+Grid World.

Directed by beeple AKA Mike Winkelmann. Gorgeous!
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Flying Lotus’s “Mmmhmm” video and other Special Problems

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Hats off to the Special Problems crew for their work refining the artform of the extremely stoney music video.
 

 
If you liked that, check out their showreel, these guys do good stuff:
 

Written by Ron Nachmann | Discussion
Create a universe while listening to Cosmogramma
05.07.2010
11:23 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Flying Lotus
Cosmogramma

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Los Angeles beat wizard Flying Lotus, Steven Ellison by day, unveiled his latest offering Cosmogramma this past Tuesday on Warp Records, and both the buzz and the acclaim are still ringing ears.  The sound of 2010 machinery reaching for ancient and timeless free music forms, the album is Ellison’s third and definitely his most expansive.  Below is personal favorite Mmmhmm featuring bass virtuoso Thundercat on vocals. 

As if creating a 2010 musical highlight is not enough, Lotus also debuted a “free augmented reality application” called Fieldlines to celebrate the release.  Developed by Aaron Meyers based on the album’s original artwork by Leigh McCloskey, Fieldlines allows you to move planets and create a new universe with the touch of a mouse.  All to the sounds of Flying Lotus and harp player extraordinaire, Rebekah Raff.  If you are in the Los Angeles area, not one but two record release parties are happening at the Echo Plex in Echo Park Friday May 14 and Saturday May 15.  Both are not to be missed!
 

 

Written by Elvin Estela | Discussion
Hear the most exciting sounds on the planet at Low End Theory

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As all really serious dance music aficionados know, Los Angeles—specifically the east side—is becoming the epicenter of truly far-out, multi-layered, psychedelically-tinged new music. The weekly Low End Theory party, held each Wednesday at the Airliner, is the physical manifestation of this scene and features a world-renowned lineup of DJs, including The Gaslamp Killer, DJ Nobody (AKA Elvin Estela), D-Styles, Daddy Kev and Nocando. Another “high-flying” (cough) selector at the club is Flying Lotus, or Steven Ellison if you want to call him by his birth name. Flying Lotus is the scene’s international breakout star and features the likes of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Erykah Badu on his new album, Cosmogramma. (Ellison is profiled by August Brown in the Los Angeles Times).

The Airliner’s sound system boasts of 10,000 watts of amplification moving through 12 18-inch subharmonic drivers. This rib-rattling sound system is how music was meant to be heard. With speakers that powerful moving the air around the club they probably don’t need air conditioning. This Wednesday’s set features the Daly City Records Tour in addition to the resident DJs.

Low End Theory, Wednesdays @ The Airliner, 2419 N. Broadway, Lincoln Heights.

Photo: The Gaslamp Killer (a.k.a. William Benjamin Bensussen), left; Kevin Moo, founder of Alpha Pup records and Low End Theory; and DJ Nobody (Elvin Estela). Credit: Spencer Weiner / For the Los Angeles Times. You can download the Low End Theory podcast here.
 

 
Cross posting this from Brand X.

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion