It has already been a long three years since Flying Lotus released his last album You’re Dead, but there have been several signs (new live dates, for instnace) that made me wonder if there’s new music coming at us soon. Most promising of all is the unveiling of this new music video, which ends with the word “Shudder” in bold red letters – possibly the album’s name.
So much for speculation, let this not keep you from enjoying this living collage directed by Winston Hacking.
One of the early tracks “leaked” from the latest Flying Lotus album You’re Dead, “Coronus, The Terminator” is the second to receive a video. Still one of my absolute favourites on the record, I love it for pretty much the same reason I loved “Getting There” on the previous album. Directed by Alex Takacs aka Young Replicant.
Flying Lotus told the story behind each track on his new album You’re Dead! on his Twitter feed:
“Theme” was really what led to following through w the concept (1). Originally called “Jodorowsky” (2). Kamasi and me really built this one (3).
“Tesla”. Was so much fun cuz it was when Herbie [Hancock] and me and Thunder started things up (4). This moment spawned the rest of it (5). This song was the spark of the album. Which is why I wanted it close to the front. Most of this album feels like it’s chronological (6). For the most part everything was recorded separately n my home. I’d work w musicians like samples (7).
“Cold Dead” started from a iPhone voice memo. I sang the ideas and Thunder helped me bring it to life (8). All those operatic voices n this are me singing thru some toys (9).
“Fkn Dead” was the hardest to make. Trying to find the balance of live drums and sampled drums (10). Me singing textures again on this. Brandon Coleman killed it (11). None of this album would be possible without Thundercat (12). He and I came up w the concept (13).
“Never Catch Me“. Kendrick came thru and recorded to this song at the crib. Came alone. With a hoodie over his head. Ready to work (14). He wrote it on the spot and laid it down (15). I sang this part to him and he recorded it. He killed it (16). The second half of this song was called “Ramen Wars” (17). One of the most fun days ever (18). All these layer vocal ideas at the middle and end were inspired by Queen (19).
“Dead Man’s Tetris”. This might be the oldest beat on the album (20). Hard for me to write to my own beats. This was the hardest (21). That’s Earl Sweatshirt saying shit n the background sometimes (22). Snoop’s part almost didn’t work so I had to rework the beat at his moment (23). He was really into the concept. He was like. “U know I made a song like this called murder was the case” ummm. Yea I heard of it (24). Joker cameo (25).
“Turkey Dog Coma” is the most complex arrangement I’ve ever made (26). Another one made with me and Thunder. I sat next to him and we sang all these moments part for part (27). Miguel wrote some strings. Brendan Small does this Brian May like riff around this part (28). There’s so many recordings in this song (29). There was a point where this was the last song on the album (30).
“Stirring” I made with a friend named Jeff Lynne he and I went to high school together and we reconnected and did this song (31). A friend of ours had passed away recently and it made me want to do something dedicated to him. Rip Nick Terry (32).
“Coronus, The Terminator” is special to me for so many reasons. First song I made in my new home. First song I really went for the singing (33). Niki Randa always makes me sound good tho (34). Mac Miller came thru when we were workin on this beat. He wanted it for himself. Almost considered that (35). I literally wrote this song off top. About the Terminator (36). It’s playfully serious (37). The ending part is so coo (38).
“Siren” song was originally intended for Pharrell. I imagine the pocket still (39). I love the way it worked out tho. Angel Arlene and Niki worked this one out really fast. I wrote the draft and it just blossomed (40). I have trouble opening up this session now. It’s corrupted. So. This is it (41). This part is Thunder’s fav part of the album (42).
“Turtles” was the one that almost didn’t make it on the album (43). Such a big Morricone. Sample. I thought it would be more trouble to keep it than it was worth. I’m glad I did because I really do like it (44). People keep telling me they love turtles makes me die laughing. (45). I almost had Laura Darlington sing on this but I think there’s charm in the simplicity of it (46).
“Ready Err Not” is my mischief song (47). There will be a video for it from one of my favorite animators of all time (48). There’s a version of this song with Chance the Rapper freestyling on it it was real dope too. I sometimes play it in my live show (49).
“Eyes Above” was made in a funny situation (50). I made this beat with FKA Twigs and Niki Randa in studio (51). Kendrick has a verse on this song that can’t come out I guess (52). “Eyes Above” without Kendrick still breaks my heart (53).
“Moment of Hesitation” was started with me and Kamasi. He’s a horn player but had him on the keys with Herbie too (54). Herbie just came thru and killed it (55). It was dope to introduce him to Dilla’s music/sample flips (56).
“Descent Into Madness” was Thundercat’s song I hijacked (57). He started it and I begged him to let me finish this song. I had visions instantly (58).
“The Boys Who Died in Their Sleep” Was gonna be on the Cap album (59). I tried to my best Dr Rockso impression (60). I never had a drug overdose by the way. Re: That Fader story (61). Vicodin is the new heroin (62). Austin. . . (63)
There’s a version of “Obligatory Cadence” with me singing about a dream I had once about a deity who took me into the clouds and showed me.. (64) a world without darkness (65). All my fam and friends were there. Watching me being taken into the sky. The deity shed it’s light on the earth. The light was almost silver (66). She told me that I’d never ever die (67).
“The Beyond” is dedicated to an unborn child (68). A light (69). Fantastic Planet [La planète sauvage] inspired this song. Musically (70).
“The Protest”. Is the most important statement of the record. It’s the spirits gathered. Remembering we never die (71) Our influence lives on forever. Our love lives on forever (72).
I knew that when I set out to make this record I’d lose some people with the concept but I didn’t do this shit to be crowd pleasing (73). What ever happens, I know I did what I set out to do (74). With minor heartbreaks (75). Truth be told going the ‘easy way’ is tempting sometimes but I was like fuck it I’m gonna make something only I can put together (76). A lil self indulgent? absolutely. Thats kinda the point. If you ask me. I had to tell my story! (77)
So it’s here, as everybody on the planet already knows the new Flying Lotus album You’re Dead! is out now on Warp Records. In the last couple of weeks, I was overcome by the same awkward feeling that returns whenever there’s news about an album by Los Angeles native producer Steve Ellison. It’s an unsettling mix of fear, doubt and skepticism. What if he might has lost it, sold out. The big marketing machinerey surrounding such an event certainly plays its little part in this, for I don’t really care about those leaked tracks. Especially when I know a Flying Lotus track is best enjoyed in the context of the full album it’s released on — which at this point is still weeks away.
Anyway, I’m glad to say that there’s nothing to fear or doubt, Mr. Ellison outpaced everything you had in your books, doing it in such ease. So this is his jazz record? It’s what a jam session with Thundercat, Herbie Hancock, and rappers Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg and alter ego Captain Murphy sounds like? The Kendrick Lamar collaboration is a good example for those feelings I described in my intro, for I have to say I wasn’t exactly blown away when I heard it for the first time. But now it works so much better hearing it in the context of the full record. There are a lot favourites to choose from, yet interestingly for me it’s those little interludes with just him and Thundercat noodling on the bass, that I love the most. Well, „Coronus, The Terminator” has been a charmer before (by the why, who is singing on there?) and “The Protest” is an equal masterpiece.
You can buy your copy of „You’re Dead!” just about everywhere (Boomkat, iTunes, I said everywhere!) or stream it on Spotify. There’s an limited box set including the instrumental LP and I think you can only buy it on the Warp-associated Bleep store.
When there’s a new video for a song from an album released two years ago, that can only mean one thing: the next Flying Lotus album can’t be too far away! And while I’m sure we all have reason to be excited about that, I don’t mean to speak any low of Markus Hofko‘s masterpiece for “Phantasm”, a song featuring Laura Darlington and taken from Until The Quiet Comes. Having been a film student himself, Flying Lotus has always proven a good hand and choosing collaborators to work with, and I’m sure Hofko’s video for Mega Wagna by Débruit played some part in it.
So, this all may or may not be one part to get the PR machine rolling. If the outcome looks as great as this video, I’m willing to take it (alongside a possible new record!)
Not only did Flying Lotus announce the completion of his new album—no name, no label, no release date yet—he also hit a new milestone reaching 300,000 followers on Twitter. On the occasion, the decided to give away “Ideas+drafts+loops”, a 133MB download of tracks featuring the likes of Shabazz Palaces, Thundercat, Viktor Vaughn & Earl Sweatshirt, DJ Mehdi, Niki Randa, Andreya Triana and many more.
I’m still on the download myself and looking at an ever increasing counter until it completes. Until then, I’ll leave you with the download link before the entire internet goes down!
about that time
Adventure Sound – ft. The Underachievers
an xbox killed my dog
Aqua teen 24
Aqua teen inst 24
colemans groove . ft. Andreya Triana and Niki Randa
Flying Lotus – DJ Mehdi – Mapei IDEAS 1 MIX
hide me ft. Shabazz Palaces
little hours ft. Baths
Such a square
TheKill ft. Niki Randa
thundercat – yeezus- black skinhead
In the meantime, a second download link has popped up, hopefully working faster!
When I’m not listening to the Hessle Audio radio show on Rinse.fm, I’m more than happy to track down other mixes by Ben UFO and company. The Essential Mix is still a big deal and—annoying as Pete Tong’s flat introductions are—you might want to grab this new one featuring Ben.
Dutch producer Binkbeats runs one of the most impressive YouTube channels I’ve ever come across. There he regularly covers contemporary beats with an array of (sometimes obscure) analogue equipment, an MPC and laptop.
Getting There by Flying Lotus
So far there is music from Erykah Badu, Flying Lotus and Lapalux reinterpreted. if he maintains the pattern, there will be a new track each month (hopefully!) Luckily, these invite you to repeated listens.
We’re excited to hear that the follow-up to Thundercat’s brilliant The Golden Age of Apocalypse is only a couple of months away. Together with the track you can hear above, Brainfeeder shared the news with Pitchfork alongside a full tracklist and forthcoming live dates. Titled Apocalypse, the new record is once again produced by Flying Lotus and will be out on July 8th (July 9th in the U.S.)
And that doesn’t seem to be the end of the line, as Lotus announced working on a fusion album next.
Moog has unveiled a brandnew synthesizer, the Sub Phatty, and Los Angeles’ Flying Lotus received a prototype some months ago. Watch the animated video by lilfuchs that showcases an original composition by Lotus, built primarily using sounds from the new synth. You can also download a copy of the tune over at Pitchfork.
It has been four and a half years now since the Flying Lotus breakthrough album Los Angeles was released on Warp Records. Much has been written about the music, I don’t think I could possible say anything new about it, there is likely no beat left unturned. Instead, I want to speak about the record’s unfathomable cover art.
Why now? The world moved on and Flying Lotus himself released two albums since then. For once, the the cover artwork had me puzzled since I first held the record in my hand, I never stopped wondering about what I see. When I say the record, I actually mean the album and the threeaccompanyingEPs. Secondly, I never owned a copy of that first EP until recently, so all those questions came back – what is this, what do I see there? Something insectoid, I always thought, probably a stag beetle (see Lucanidae), but then it had this metallic texture to spoke against that (and why make another Mezzanine?) It happened to me before, until this day I wonder whether that’s the suprasternal notch on the cover of 1983. Lotus, you cheeky bastard! I went so far, I opened the images in Photoshop, moved and turned them around, mirrored them, even inverted the colours, hoping that the complete image would reveal itself to me. What never came into my mind -in the age of internet- was simply googling for it!
If you want to keep a little mystery between yourself and the cover, do not continue reading, there are some spoilers starting after the images!
The creative studio responsible for the artwork is East London’s Build, who you might know from the work for Will Saul’s Aus Music (and Simple Records) or the documentary Objectified. Our actual object of interest here is the sculpture used in the artwork, it was made by Zoe Coombes and David Boira of New York-based design studio Commonwealth. They first created a model in Maya, then created a chrome prototype which would then be photographed by Timothy Saccenti. Tim has made himself a name in the world of music with his portraits of Erykah Badu, Carl Craig and Pharrell among others.
It was intended to leave a certain mystery in the photographs, the viewer wasn’t meant to guess the size, the scale or the material of the sculpture. Whether it’s a massive structure or a microscopic image would be in the eye of the beholder. There is no statement made about the red pictures on the inside of the album. My first guess was a colour-inverted image, but it seems the object is simply covered in red paint, possibly resembling blood.
Things didn’t stop with the release of Los Angeles. Timothy Saccenti took his pictures to director Mark Szumski, with whom he would be working on what he calls a “trailer for a horror movie.” The result of that is Soft Gun Lily, which you can see below. The second video gives a little insight behind the scenes of the making of the cover artwork.
PS: It had to be towards the end of this article, that I came similiar post on The Cover Up from some years back. Murphy’s Law or something.
Last night at Low End Theory, one of the more recent mysteries has been revealed: Flying Lotus himself is Captain Murphy. There has been some speculation about his involvement behind the scenes, but nobody could have expected him to be hiding behind that beard. So, now that we know there is also an official download for the beat tape, which also means that you probably caught a YouTube rip before.
02. El Topo (Prod. Alejandro Jodorowsky)
03. Mighty Morphin Foreskin (Prod. Flying Lotus)
04. The Ritual (Prod. Just Blaze and Jeremiah Jae)
05. Between Friends Ft. Earl Sweatshirt (Prod. Flying Lotus)
06. Children of the Atom (Prod. Madlib and Flying Lotus)
07. Jalapeños (Prod. Jeremiah Jae)
08. Gloe (Prod. Jeremiah Jae)
09. The Killing Joke (Prod. Flying Lotus)
10. Hovercrafts and Cows (Prod. Flying Lotus)
11. Gone Fishing Ft. Jeremiah Jae (Prod. Flying Lotus)
12. Drive Thru (Prod. SAMIYAM)
13. Immaculation Ft. Azizi Gibson and Jeremiah Jae
14. The Prisoner (Prod. Teebs)
15. ___BONUS Shake Weight (Prod. TNGHT)
Actually, make that two downloads, one for the deluxe version and another for the instrumentals. Comes with separate artworks for each of the tracks, too!
December 3, 2012 Watch Captain Murphy and Earl Sweatshirt performing Between Friends live at Low End Theory, video courtesy of Theo Jemison