This is one cool element here, boys and girls. This isn’t your ordinary silvery-smooth mercury flow, or a crystal-clear cascade of slick, trickling beats. Tonight the moon is out and the lights are dim, the couch is cozy and the television’s face is sick with static. Take out your turntables and make some sparks with those needles, the primordial goddess of all things subdued and crisp is ready to bless your stereophonic shrine with the essence of Los Angeles
. Featuring the mighty galactic beat shaman Steve Ellison of the district of Warp, this turbulent collage of ooey-gooey space magma permeates and coalesces with you with a brilliant coat of silvery sheen reflecting stars and galaxies in its creamy-smooth semi-solid flesh.
Descendant of legendary jazz shogun John Coltrane, Captain Ellison has no doubt been gifted with the arcane craft of music making, and looking at the legion of beat destroyers he has assembled, which includes Fearsome-Fingered Feline Thundercat
and the Nintendo Entertainment Sister TOKiMONSTA
, he has also retained the same influence amongst his pallet of peers. Los Angeles
is the most fluid incantation of his mystical beats, his most cohesive sonic meditation, a graceful and smoky calm before the storm that is Cosmogramma
. The soundscapes are thick and elegant, deep and rambunctious, frivolous and remotely organic, with a crisp vinyl crackle to sit your ass down and strum you the harps of midnight mental restlessness.
It starts with an eerie tone-setting piece by the name of “Brainfeeder” (he later uses this name for his band of Los Angeles-native hip-hop crusaders) and then the fuzzy sonic flares seamlessly transform into a bittersweet hum as if they were already one in the same thing, the catalyst being that chanting vinyl static. From melodic to dirty with track 4“Camel”, tribal to astral from “Melt” to “Comet Course”, followed by a serial montage of everything in between, the Lotus’ second release proves to be the best-flowing of his sonic artistries, even if it isn’t as explosive as its younger sibling Cosmogramma
...or is it? Track 10 is the genesis of a genius run of vibrant, almost overflowing beats, scoring the title as both Los Angeles
’ climax and its most exciting moment. “Parisian Goldfish” whips out the melodramatic, taffy-pulled Game Boy heart strings, bouncing and smashing around with a parade of jovial percussion that transitions suddenly but sensibly into “Sleepy Dinosaur”, a dense display of intergalactic garden scenery. Slowly, the lights get darker and the moon sets lower as “RobertaFlack” ushers in an era of shadowy tranquility, where the tones get calmer and the murk gets heavier, all the way up until the very end where “Infinitum” flickers the city lights of Los Angeles
out of sight.
It is easy to dig as both a prelude to the creative vomiting of Cosmogramma
and as a milky-silky step up from the frisky vibes of 1983
, but to dismiss it as a simple transition point would be foolish. Los Angeles
is a constantly-changing trip though vivid imagery and abstract sounds that has no room for silence (not unlike Since I Left You
by The Avalanches
). Caress it, run it through your fingers, eat it, do whatever you want with it, just make sure you expose yourself to it.