Flying Lotus
Cosmogramma


5.0
classic

Review

by Jared W. Dillon USER (118 Reviews)
May 8th, 2010 | 1752 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Flying Lotus strives for perfection and achieves it with "Cosmogramma".

Flying Lotus' first two records were marked by his avant-garde take on hip-hop. "1983" was what some reviewers call "post-Dilla" which basically means highly textural hip-hop tracks. "Los Angeles" built on this sound, but added more standard electronic music cliches. "Los Angeles" was released on Warp records and was clearly more indebted to that side of FlyLo. In turn the sound of that record presented more of a mixtape of his ideas rather than a complete record. "Cosmogramma" is still built on both of those sounds though Steve Ellison has his sound again to another level with the addition of live instrumentation from a variety of sources. Notable contributors are Thom Yorke and Ravi Coltrane. Yorke's contribution sounds like Ellison remixing Kid A era Radiohead. Coltrane's various saxophone passage move Flying Lotus' sound into realms of avant jazz yet very much removed from his extensive family connections.

"Cosmogramma" starts off where "Los Angeles" left off. 'Pickled!" and 'Nose Art' are certainly the most familiar moments for former Flylo fans. As the album begins to progress though the tracks get decidedly more stranger. 'Intro // A Cosmic Drama' is where the record ironically enough starts showing its more alien moments. Rather than building emotion through direct grooves and heavy bass tracks, Ellison has peeled back another dimension to his music. Softer tones make highlights like 'MmmHmm' serene futuristic pop songs. The layering of 'Do the Astral Plane' is incredibly dense. The amount of different types of textures and sounds found on the track is impressive and the fact that it still works is even more so. Every track on the record should be commended with how easily it flows into the next while still retaining moments of individuality. Rebekah Raff's harp performance highlights a personal touch throughout the record, but most notably on 'Drips // Auntie's Harp'. In terms of perfection of a sound its hard to imagine that "Cosmogramma" could do much more. Everything you could want in electronic music is here with equal amounts of hip-hop and jazz thrown in for good measure.

"Cosmogramma" is the next "Mezzanine". This is a record that has perfected a style of music. Ellison throughout his short career has already released three seminal releases and helped launch a pretty amazing collective of like minded artists in Los Angeles. "Cosmogramma" is from a fan's standpoint a very understandable evolution. "1983" drew its strength from consistency and its fluid tracklist, "Los Angeles" lost that with a pretty sprawling length. "Cosmogramma" is FlyLo's most consistent record to date and in general overwhelmingly enjoyable. The emotional power the record manages to achieve when in reality it is just a sequence of electronic beeps is perhaps what is most impressive. While structurally and musically there is very little similarities to the Coltrane name he's related to, the emotion of those musicians has clearly been instilled in Ellison. Time will tell if "Cosmogramma" is the most definitive moment of his career, but at this point it seems the realm of electronic music is open for Flying Lotus to be the next big visionary of his genre.



Recent reviews by this author
Pygmy Lush Old FriendsPharoahe Monch W.A.R.
My Disco Little JoyBlack Milk Album Of The Year
Sun Kil Moon Admiral Fell PromisesExtra Life Made Flesh
user ratings (1082)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Andy Antar (5)
Ellison's stranglehold on mood is vice-like and quickly tightening. Flying Lotus is the face of a ne...

Michael Jordan (GoAT) (4)
Flying Lotus places heavily electronic, sample-based music back on its true path – that of the exp...

gasmaskman (4.5)
I need to know you're out there, I need to know you're listening...


Comments:Add a Comment 
pixiesfanyo
May 8th 2010


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

can't get over this.

qwe3
May 8th 2010


21369 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If this is as perfect as Mezzanine was then it's a must-get. Always liked this guy's stuff.

Really liked the review too.

Prophet178
May 8th 2010


6397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Cosmogramma" is the next "Mezzanine".


Hello bold statement.

Surely you can admit this album has it's flaws?

pixiesfanyo
May 8th 2010


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

nah. i'm so into this dude's sound its perfect. he's been flirting with it over all of his releases, but this is just insane.

joshuatree
Emeritus
May 8th 2010


3742 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

missing a period in that last sentence

album is simply phenomenal. it's basically everything i could want from a successor to los angeles, and then some. "nose art" and "do the astral plane" are so good, but just this works so well as a complete listen. also if there are flaws i personally can't really find them

Ghostechoes
May 8th 2010


1353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Outstanding album. I wish Madlib would get as much attention as FL, though.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2010


31475 Comments


Great review man, i'm just not feeling it as much as you

Digging: Hyperdub - Hyperdub 10.4

Piglet
May 8th 2010


4662 Comments


I suppose I should try this out.

plane
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2010


6099 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

in agreement with this review. i'm so into this dude's sound its perfect. [1]

Calculate
May 8th 2010


1135 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, i duno about perfect.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
May 8th 2010


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is so good.

Apocalyptic Raids
May 8th 2010


810 Comments


this rulz

Yotimi
May 8th 2010


6546 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

But is this album as good as their video for 'parision goldfish'??

Digging: Sand Circles - Motor City

Transient
May 8th 2010


1461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not seeing it, personally prefer 1983. that being said, 'do the astral plane' is incredible.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2010


15068 Comments


some of the review read weirdly to me. i also hate to be the grumpy old man but it feels like you guys are giving away 5's too easily these days.... oh well

plane
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2010


6099 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Well, each 5 is unique to us guys so they would be reflective of our individual passions and tastes. I'd rather be open to the idea that we can be so moved by a new release that it seems to eclipse all around it or perhaps sets a new benchmark for what is to follow.

Tits McGee
May 8th 2010


1876 Comments


can't make a better judgement till I get a better sounding version

Adash
May 8th 2010


1356 Comments


strangely enough daedalus was much better then flylo at fabric

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
May 8th 2010


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pickled rules, still haven't managed to get through the entire album yet.

slaythesocialists
May 8th 2010


171 Comments


though the tracks get decidedly more stranger.


the tracks cant get more stranger. Their either more strange or stranger



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy