Flying Lotus Live In “Melben”

After flight delays from Wellington on Friday, folks in Melbourne had a long wait into the early hours of Saturday morning for their highly-anticipated live Flying Lotus experience.

By the end of his show that long wait seemed worth it for both the die-hard FlyLo disciples with their arms stretched out towards him on the stage during most of his set, and the curious appreciators of his music artistry alike.

Flying Lotus live at 170 Russell St, Melbourne 2015

Flying Lotus live at 170 Russell St, Melbourne

With the use of some live tools, the art of making his studio music sound fresh, alive and entertaining on stage with just a laptop and some controls, is one that Flying Lotus (aka Steven Ellison) appears to have mastered well.

Flying Lotus live at 170 Russell St, Melbourne 2015

Live Tools of the Electronic Art
A Visual Extravaganza

The most fundamental of those tools in bringing his music to life was the mesmerizing live 3D lighting and animation that surrounded Flying Lotus throughout his performance. That spectacular alone, made the live show worth experiencing.

Flying Lotus live at 170 Russell St, Melbourne 2015

Add to that the mask of glowing eyes worn by Ellison for the first part of his set, and the audience was well and truly in fantasy-land.

Flying Lotus live at 170 Russell St, Melbourne 2015

Movement

Witnessing Flying Lotus behind his laptop moving his body, raising his arms high to the sky and getting off on the music he was playing, helped the audience to get off on it themselves.

Flying Lotus live at 170 Russell St, Melbourne 2015

Diverse & Fresh Sounds

Creating a set of music melding older beloved tracks from the Flying Lotus discography, songs from his most recently released album You’re Dead! as well as some new ones all together, seemed to satisfy the tastes of everyone. His alterations to the original sound of those tracks, made them sound fresh in the live arena.

Flying Lotus live at 170 Russell St, Melbourne 2015

Sing It / Rap It

Picking up a microphone to sing or rap those parts of tracks recorded in the studio obviously adds that sought-after extra-special living element to the music. Flying Lotus did this a number of times at his Melbourne show – including singing his ethereal accompanying vocals on ‘Coronus the Terminator’ and rapping Captain Murphy’s part on  ‘Dead Man’s Tetris’.

Flying Lotus live at 170 Russell St, Melbourne 2015

Flying Lotus live at 170 Russell St, Melbourne 2015

Relate

For an artist to observe some native idiosyncratic thing about the people of the place they’re performing in, helps an audience to relate and feel connected to that artist performing in their place.  At his Melbourne show Flying Lotus achieved that by expressing both bemusement and amusement about the Australian way of pronouncing the city as “Melben” rather than “Melburn” or “Melborn”.

Flying Lotus live at 170 Russell St, Melbourne 2015

Tell a Story

An artist relating to the audience some more by telling a story about an experience they had when they last visited that place, makes that connection stronger again. Flying Lotus’ Melbourne story was about the gift of DMT given to him by a punter last time around, pre-empting an on-the-spot gift to him of something from an audience member this time around.

Flying Lotus live at 170 Russell St, Melbourne 2015

Make More Music

After making those live connections with his Melbourne audience, Flying Lotus got back behind his laptop and knobs to finish the show with more audiovisuals of the fantastical kind – and the job was done – the electronic art in the live arena mastered – and the people moved.

Flying Lotus live at 170 Russell St, Melbourne 2015

Check out these video snippets of the live Flying Lotus experience in Melben + samples of his studio works below if you’re not already familiar with them.



Flying Lotus - You're Dead! (2014)

You’re Dead! (2014)

 ‘Siren Song’ – Flying Lotus feat. Angel Deradoorian – You’re Dead!

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Flying Lotus - Until The Quiet Comes (2012)

Until The Quiet Comes (2012)

‘Phantasm’ – Flying Lotus feat. Laura Darlington – Until The Quiet Comes

 

Flying Lotus live at 170 Russell St, Melbourne 2015

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Flying Lotus – You’re Dead! But Your Spirit Ain’t

“The first time you listen to You’re Dead! try to clear 30+ min of your super busy and important schedule and listen to the whole ride…”

Flying LotusFlying Lotus- Sep 19

Flying Lotus (aka Steven Elllison) posted that about 2 weeks before the official release of his new album.

Two weeks afterYou’re Dead! arrived into my hands I’m posting this to all people in the world who appreciate absolutely unique, innovative and exceptional music and artistry, and are as excited as me about the creation of jazz hip-hop fusion of the highest order in 2014…

“The first and every subsequent time you listen to You’re Dead! during the rest of this lifetime, clear 38+ mins of your busy, unimportant schedule, play your vinyl or cd through a good sound system, and enjoy the wild sensory ride that this incredible musical body of work takes you on in it’s entirety from tracks 1 through to 19…”

Flying Lotus - You're Dead! (2014)

Flying Lotus – You’re Dead! (2014)

This Flying Lotus ride takes us into the realms of death and the journey of the spirit in the afterlife. The message is clear: scary or not, death in this lifetime is coming for us all. But the spirit will live on forever after.

At different times throughout the album death is confusing, resisted, feared, wondered or laughed at, welcomed, defied, sought, accepted, surrendered to and embraced. That means sometimes this Flying Lotus ride sounds fun and playful, at other times uncomfortable, dark and chaotic.

“I can see the darkness in me and it’s quite amazing. Life and death is a mystery and I wanna taste it. Step inside my mind and you’ll find curiosity…”

(Kendrick Lamar on ‘Never Catch Me’)

“Bang bang blow your mind. Beat beat flatline. You gotta get yours, I been had mine…”

“I was live when I met you. Now it seems to upset you.”

Snoop Dogg and Captain Murphy (aka Flying Lotus) on ‘Dead Man’s Tetris’

“The days of men are coming to an end. So come with me…”

Flying Lotus on ‘Coronus The Terminator’

“Can you feel the walls are closing in? Closer to the end. Welcome to the descent. The descent, the descent, into madness. The descent…”

Thundercat on ‘Descent Into Madness’

“I know of a place inside my mind where I can fly. Take another pill. Take another pill.”

Captain Murphy on ‘The Boys Who Died In Their Sleep’

Flying Lotus - You're Dead! (2014)

Other times the ride is soft, spacious, clear and serene. One of those is in ‘The Protest’. This track marks the end of You’re Dead! and the start of the spirits’ journey through the afterlife when they gather in clarity, a knowing, an acceptance of (and hopefully in peace) that they, their influence and their love will live on forever and ever after.

The whole wild sensory ride comes via a rich and diverse musical tapestry made up of layers upon layers of weird, wonderful and surprising sounds that very few artists in the world could successfully weave together like Flying Lotus has done with You’re Dead!. You’ll need to set aside a lot of 38+ minute sessions during your lifetime just to absorb them all.

Some layers are vocal ones inspired by the music of Queen, sung or spoken by Steven Ellison himself (some through a toy), Niki Randa, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop DoggAngel Deradoorian, Arlene Deradoorian and Kimbra Johnson.

Others are recordings of shit-hot live instrumentation care of jazz hero Herbie Hancock on keys; Thundercat on bass and guitar, Kamasi Washington on saxophone; Brendon Small and Jeff Lynn on guitar; Gene Coye, Justin Brown, Ronald Bruner and Deantoni Parks on drums; Stephen BrunerBrandon Coleman and Taylor Graves on keys; Laura Darlington on flute; Andres Renteria on percussion; Miguel Atwood Ferguson and Taylor Cannizzaro on strings, and Flying Lotus on keys, percussion and bass.

Finally amongst the layers are the electronic beats and other kooky sampled sounds of Flying Lotus, many of them seemingly placed in the “wrong” but in fact the perfect places.

The whole of those layers is an exceptional, innovative, quality musical creation that sounds and feels like none other in this world.

Flying Lotus - You're Dead! (2014)

Check out some tracks from the album here via dirty, compressed mp3. My usual preachings about the importance of supporting artists financially and the evils of mp3s in the world, apply many times over with this here Flying Lotus album and it’s many beautiful nuances of sound. You’re Dead! is a ‘must-have-and-treasure-on-vinyl-or-at-least-cd’ in your collection for the rest of your lifetime, and the collection of the lucky person who gets your music collection with FlyLo included, after you’re dead. Get it from your local independent record store if you can – all good ones should have it.

Flying Lotus - You're Dead! (2014)

Flying Lotus – You’re Dead! (2014)

Flying Lotus – ‘Dead Man’s Tetris’ (feat. Snoop Dogg & Captain Murphy)

a playful Tetris death ride, hip-hop style…

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Flying Lotus – ‘Coronus The Terminator’ 

what I hope death sounds and feels like…

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Flying Lotus – ‘Moment of Hesitation’ (feat. Herbie Hancock)

aaahhh, dear Herbie…

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If when I get to the afterlife it turns out to sound like You’re Dead! does, at least my spirit will be a musically satisfied one.  Won’t yours?

If it sounds different, this Flying Lotus creation has undoubtedly made a lot of people’s lives richer for the experience in this lifetime. Are you one of them?

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Flying Lotus: Coronus, The Terminator

The new Flying Lotus album drops on October 7th. After hearing the latest teaser track from it, ‘Coronus, The Terminator’, You’re Dead! has for me become the most anticipated new album music release in a very, very long time. I am absolutely bursting to get a hard copy of this album into my hands and playing through my speakers.

Flying Lotus - You're Dead! (2014)

Flying Lotus – You’re Dead! (2014)

Why?  Because when I hear this ethereal piece of brilliant music artistry by Flying Lotus and his collaborators, I feel everything moving inside of me.  It affects me deeply – and that’s the very best music in the world.

Why else? Because You’re Dead! not only features FlyLo’s fellow Californian artists Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat and Niki Randa singing vocals on Coronus, The Terminator; but also one of the most special artists in the whole of our music history –  jazz fusion pioneer Herbie Hancock. I’d say Flying Lotus and Herbie Hancock making fusion music together is a collaboration of epic proportions.

Herbie Hancock

Herbie Hancock
photo ℅ minglecity.com

Flying Lotus

Flying Lotus
photo ℅ heartymagazine.com

Reactions to Coronus, The Terminator by Soundcloud listeners sum up this music  ever-so-perfectly really…

what the fuckkkkkkk          holy shit    

dammnnnn          JEEEEESUS CHRIST!!!          lawd have mercy

Getting chills, damn          Goosebumps, Goosebumps all around!

crazy shit. next level shit          fuckin phenomenal          absolute perfection

out of this world          sweet salvation          enlightenment through sound

you are a damn genius          one of the cleanest fucking mixes ive ever heard

you cannot be human

if this is what dying sounds like then i look forward to it

Hear Coronus, The Terminator yourself and you’ll probably be nodding in agreement with all of the above reactions. Check it out on Soundcloud here…

So no doubt after hearing it, you’ll agree with these other Soundcloud comments too…

so fucking excited for october

SO happy about this… very glad I pre-ordered 😉

I’m hella pumped to get this on vinyl.

Yes appreciators of good sound quality and hold-in-your-hands-albums, Flying Lotus is of course giving us You’re Dead! on sweet vinyl and cd.  You can pre-order it and collect the mail excitedly each day because that could be the day the postman or woman delivers your copy of this incredible piece of music artistry.

When you get it, remember these Flying Lotus words about You’re Dead!

“the first time you listen to You’re Dead! try to clear 30+ min of your super busy and important schedule and listen to the whole ride”

Until then, remind yourself of the great goodness of Herbie Hancock’s music with this sample track (shitty mp3 only – this is a must-have-album on sweet vinyl or cd) from his 1973 groundbreaking album Head Hunters

Herbie Hancock - Head Hunters (1973)

Herbie Hancock – Head Hunters (1973)

‘Chameleon’ – Herbie Hancock – Head Hunters (1973)

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