I have no doubt that Cosmogramma, the album Flying Lotus describes as a “space opera,” will be one of the albums of 2010. Actually, I don’t even care if anyone agrees, because I know I’ll thoroughly enjoy it. The only bad news is that you’ll have to wait until May to get the release, coming out on Warp Records.
I happened to hang out with Flying Lotus the day he wrapped the record up (after I nearly succumbed to the horrors of LA traffic), so I got to hear the rough-cut. Taking off any music critic hat or anything along those lines, I just fell in love with it; my jaw was dropped. (Thanks, Steve – I wasn’t just pretending or trying to be nice!) I wanted to take it with me and keep listening all night, so yes, I look forward to even a watermarked advance, let alone my proper, DRM-free CD final. It’s incredibly lush, indeed operatic in its collisions of textures, and filled with guest work by the likes of Ravi Coltrane, Thundercat, Erykah Badu, and Laura Darlington. (You may know Laura’s husband, Daedalus; Laura has done a number of collaborations with him and with FlyLo in the past.) The cut with Thom Yorke on guest vocals was immediately a favorite of mine, and the combination of work by harpist Rebekah Raff and string arranger Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (of Outkast) make for an exquisitely beautiful journey. It absolutely fits his musical personality, but it also sounds very different from his previous work.
The results have a richness, a depth to them I think many will find irresistible. Like a great bandleader, Flying Lotus has pulled the best out of his collaborators into his musical world.
Steve Ellison (Flying Lotus) is a really humble, easy-going guy, and I think sometimes that shows in music. Some of that generous personality really comes across.
Anyway, I want to hear the mastered version and spend some proper time with the album and talk to FlyLo about it, and give y’all the coverage you and this record deserve. In the meantime, to whet your appetite, here’s the track listing and the gorgeous new artist shot and album cover.
01. Clock Catcher
03. Nose Art
04. Intro//A Cosmic Drama
05. Zodiac Shit
06. Computer Face//Pure Being
07. ..And The World Laughs With You ft. Thom Yorke
09. Mmmhmm ft.Thundercat
10. Do The Astral Plane
12. German Haircut
14. Dance Of The Pseudo Nymph
15. Drips//Auntie’s Harp
16. Table Tennis ft. Laura Darlington
17. Galaxy In Janaki