Music For the Sole! Artist Focus: Flying Lotus
Arguably the most underrated producer in the music stratosphere currently, FlyLo has slowly but surely carved out a name for himself amongst peers and fans since the mid 00s. His brand of weirdo Hip/Hop-Dance-Electronica-Jazz-Orchestral-Rap thing has launched in to a unique living legend status amongst his peers. His career so far has seen him work alongside Chance the Rapper, Kendrick Lamar, Earl Sweatshirt and DOOM alongside the release of 4 Studio Albums and multiple E.P.s and mix tapes. As a producer, Flylo has taken on a distinctive sound over the years, using a mixture of rattling sub bass, frantic and pulsating synth layered on one another and choppy drums highlighted by unusual bass drum patterns. As big fans of his work, we thought we'd do a little break down of 5 tracks that go some way to explain the mystery of Flying Lotus.
Before FlyLo brought out his debut album, Los Angeles, he had is first forray in to the world via sending music to Adult Swim/Cartoon Network to be used on their late night programming. Most of these beats were compiled on to his mixtape, 1983. Even after being signed to Warp Records (Home of Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Danny Brown etc) FlyLo still proceeded to supply beats to the TV company, thus this track from the afore mentioned debut album. A perfect introduction to FlyLo's ability.
After LA landed FlyLo break out success with the critical reception, it allowed him to become more daring with his techniques, something that would advance tenfold in his frequent collaborations fellow LA musician Thundercat. As readers of Music For the Sole! will know, Thundercat is starting to find himself on the big time with a critically and commercially success album in 'Drunk', as well as large scale tours around the world. A lot of that is down to this single off LA's follow up, Cosmogramma. A distinctly Jazzier epic. FlyLo channels his family heritage in to a truly eclectic and genre defining record, with Thundercat taking lead duties on this cut.
Captain Murphy - Between Friends
Worth mentioning as well is FlyLo's alter ego as the rapper, Captain Murphy. Back when tracks were being teased it was anyone's guess as to who this new rapper was. The E.p. that was then released, alongside the big reveal of the identity of Murphy, really stand out as a unique moment in FlyLo's career. A highlight of the project would be the FlyLo produced single with Earl and DOOM as guest vocalists.
Never Catch Me (featuring Kendrick Lamar)
Arguably the biggest song of FlyLo's career (so far). The main single off his last album, You're Dead, sees the rapid fire delivery of Kendrick matched with the rapid production of FlyLo. Accompanied by a beautifully shot video, as most of his work is, this song became the groundwork for FlyLo to work with bigger artists, slumming it with Dr. Dre amongst others.
Kendrick Lamar - Wesley's Theory
The lead track from Kendrick's smash album To Pimp a Butterfly doesn't need and introduction for regular readers of the blog. As a track, it's a broadening of styles for FlyLo with it's G Funk rhythms mashed with typically frantic production. A true highlight of the album kicks proceedings off with a bang, as well as FlyLo's exposure to the mainstream of Rap and Hip/Hop.