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Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma review | MVRemix

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Reviews Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma review

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Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma review written by Terri-Ann Thomas At first listen, you may be thrown off by Steven Ellison’s (better known as, Flying Lotus) new album, Cosmogramma (especially if you are unfamiliar with his music). But fear not, just because you aren’t familiar with his musical stylings, it doesn’t mean a second listen won’t have you appreciating this fine piece of art. In fact, you quickly start to pick up on the creative mind of Flying Lotus.

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More than just a producer and musician, Ellison is a free spirit and that’s reflected on this album. He’s ignored conformity and stepped out of the box to create what he refers to as, “space opera.” You definitely get a sense of that sub-genre (space opera) as you listen to records like, “Intro//A Cosmic Drama,” where the melody of the harps and strings make it hard for you to not close your eyes and feel yourself almost floating in air. The album itself is large-scaled filled with variety from beginning to end. There are elements of hip-hop, jazz, dubstep, ambient music, and more. Some tracks, like, “Zodiac Sh*t,” are filled with many different melodies all on the same track. It flows from bass to snares, to strings, to even some breathing sounds (which set the mood). “Clock Catcher,” is the opening track and will trick you into thinking someone in the next room is playing Super Mario (the really addictive Nintendo game you loved as a kid and probably still do) and it’s the best part of the game too (when Mario is growing), almost to insinuate Flying Lotus’ growth and that this is the start of something new and special (his, “Beam me up, Scotty” moment, if you will). This is one is one of the more aggressive songs on the album and where the bass guitar and heavy electronic beats play a big role. Songs like “Pickled,” and Nose Art” (although Ellison likes to keep the dance records off the album and save them for his live shows), will definitely get the party started (it’s all in the bass). Cosmogramma is indeed a live orchestra packed into an album, only better. The use of harps, strings, synths, drums and guitars (and of course a selection of sounds that are yet to be accounted for) really come together in harmony. To help with that harmony, Ellison enlisted some big names including, Thom Yorke, Stephen “Thundercat” Brunet, Laura Darlington, Rebekah Raff and Ravi Coltrane, who all played a roll in this masterpiece. Opening up more of his creative mind, Ellison adds vocals to tracks like, “..And The World Laughs With You,” that has the (almost haunting) sounds of Thom York’s voice and, “Table Tennis,” featuring Laura Darlington. If you weren’t already in space bouncing around, these tracks will have you there. More serene moments come from listening to calming tracks like, “Arkestry” and “Mmmhmm.” “Satelllliiiiiteee,” gives off a hip-hop vibe because of the voice samplings, but as stated, Ellison’s tracks all of different melodies packed into one, and after the voice samplings, this becomes a beautifully arranged jazz filled song (if you were wondering, you don’t even notice the change, it all flows like running water). “German Haircut,” has the same jazzy feel too because of the beautiful saxophone played by Ravi Coltrane (cousin of Ellison and son of Alice Coltrane) with a lot of background effects that sound like harps, snares and some piano. Whatever effects Ellison adds in the background of his tracks, all make it worthwhile to listen. If Ellison wanted this music to be portrayed as, “space opera,” then he ended it perfectly. “Galaxy In Janaki,” ends the album and it’s perfectly titled. It takes you to another galaxy with the trippy vibe of the beats; it’s almost impossible to tell what is making the sounds, just a feeling of, “out of this world.” Apart from the creativity of the music, Ellison also gets creative with the album titles, from the names to the spellings (“..And The World Laughs With You,” Satelllliiiiiteee,” “Mmmhmm,” “Intro//A Cosmic Drama,” “Drips//Auntie’s Harp”). More proof that he is always thinking outside of the box and an eye opener that we should all be too (just take a listen at what it can do for you).

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If you aren’t on another planet (where you are a spirit, free to push the limits) or make you want to pack a bag and take the next spaceship out, then you aren’t listening to Cosmogramma. The use of beats, instruments and sounds sets this album apart and it’s apparent Ellison knows that. ShareThis

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