Flying Lotus
Los Angeles


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jared W. Dillon USER (118 Reviews)
August 12th, 2008 | 101 replies | 23,089 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: flying lotus' latest proves his strengths are still there.

For those who are familiar with Flying Lotus’ specific style of electronica, 'Los Angeles' can be marked simply as Steve Ellison's Warp record. Ellison has slowly been moving himself among the L.A. hip hop scene attempting to craft something that sounds like the meeting point of Aphex Twin and Madlib. Daedalus and Gaslamp Killer can also be seen as clear relations to FlyLo as they should considering all three artists are common performers in the L.A. music scene. '1983' represented a more clearer view of Ellison's take on instrumental hip-hop, 'Reset' was marked by the decision to move Flying Lotus into a more beat heavy existence, and with 'Los Angeles' we begin to see the artist reveling in the perceived intelligence of his label peers like Prefuse 73 and Autechre.

Opener 'Brainfeeder' shows clearly that this is going to be a different type of Flying Lotus record. Absolutely no percussion is used through the songs entire minute and a half length which seems daring for a producer who is known for his superbly crafted rhythms. The track is highlighted by the swirl of dynamic synths that help the second track 'Breath.Something/Stellar Star' slowly and perfectly shift in as a follow up. Noticeable about the first two tracks also is how deeply FlyLo has seemed to delve into his atmosphere. He is pressing for a more psychedelic feel and 'Breath' demonstrates this with synths that sound like wandering Theremins. 'Melt!' mixes chants with a very tribal drum feel and encompasses the influence it seems Bollywood has had on Ellison and 'Golden Diva' leaves an unremarkable impression of Boards of Canada. As the record reaches the midpoint it starts reaching for more rhythm based pieces. 'Riot' is a heavy bass aided track that uses steel drums and hand claps to create a massive low end. The song slowly evolves until the bass bridges into a seemingly random pattern as the drums around it come to a steadier beat. The track then leaves the more upbeat rhythm and concludes with a drifting synth barrage. 'GNG BNG' comes off as mix between the pioneering sounds of early New York DJs and Beat Konducta's recent forays. 'Parisian Goldfish' finishes off the trio of dance heavy tracks as FlyLo's most club based composition yet. As a whole the variety of sounds found on the record are what 'Los Angeles' success stems from with tracks as relaxing as 'Sexslaveship' before what seems like improvised vocals on 'Testament'. . 'Los Angeles' finishes off with a variety of vocal performances included a meet up with one of Ellison's early collaborators. ‘Los Angeles’ ends on a positive note with the simply beautiful 'Auntie's Lock/Infinitum' which is made even more luscious with a vocal performance from Laura Darlington. The track drifts the otherwise cluttered sonic palate into a serene and simple finish and I could not see the record ending any other way.

Flying Lotus has once again proved that he is an artist that can consistently reinvent himself and make his new sound just as effective as it was before. While I wouldn't say this record succeeds in providing the same level of consistent quality I think '1983' did, it is pretty hard to criticize 'Los Angeles' as anything other than a great record. Ellison's developments as always have entertained me enough that I'm willing to remain excited for his next release. Until then ‘Los Angeles’ remains as one of the best examples of “instrumental hip-hop” in 2008.



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user ratings (472)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Kevin Kurber (4.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
joshuatree
Emeritus
August 12th 2008



3743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great album, better than 1983 imo

DFelon204409
Emeritus
August 12th 2008



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The THIRD best instrumental hip hop / trip hop album of 2008.

Tyler
Emeritus
August 12th 2008



7924 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is really solid. Sometimes lacks flow but I'm getting over that every time I listen to it

Myrrhman
August 12th 2008



83 Comments


parisian goldfish has such an awesome break

Zebra
Moderator
August 12th 2008



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

What a remarkable album.

Apocalyptic Raids
August 14th 2008



810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so far this is my favourite album of '08, gng bng and parisian goldfish are the highlights for me. i think it's better than 1983.

could go up to a 4.5This Message Edited On 08.14.08

DFelon204409
Emeritus
August 30th 2008



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/record_review/144656-flying-lotus-los-angeles

Late to the punch on a sick artist again

joshuatree
Emeritus
August 30th 2008



3743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bringing up a new pitchfork review again

DFelon204409
Emeritus
August 30th 2008



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's just funny how many sputnik staff-repped albums are finally surfacing on pitchfork.

joshuatree
Emeritus
August 30th 2008



3743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

both got it right, this album completely rules

P13
August 31st 2008



1327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

digging this right now

rid
September 24th 2008



66 Comments


LOVE this.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
October 14th 2008



4925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

really really awesome album. Better than Blue Sky Black Death and Metaform.

plane
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2008



6073 Comments


123

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
November 30th 2008



4925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Beginners Falafel

DFelon204409
Emeritus
December 8th 2008



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was writing up my blurb for this album and came to this review and stumbled across that falafel post and just started dying of hunger.

PunkItUp
December 17th 2008



207 Comments


wow that is one big paragraph!

Prophet178
September 5th 2009



6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This dudes live set was in-fucking-credible. He should release a live cd/dvd because it kills all his studio work.

Tits McGee
December 14th 2009



1876 Comments


such a chill album

Roach
December 14th 2009



2149 Comments


hear hear!



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