Published May 23, 2019Having floated through myriad styles over the years, while simultaneously bending them to his own sonic will, it's hard to predict what a new Flying Lotus record is going to sound like. For his sixth studio album, Flamagra, he's got his fingers in pies that span the breadth of time and space.
Supporters of earlier work, like Los Angeles, will be pleased right from the outset. Openers "Heroes" and "Post Requisite" harken back to those formative beat days, where instrumental hip-hop was given a thorough rinsing. Yet, admirers of FlyLo's more recent jazz explorations will soon be sated too, as tracks like "Takashi" and "Pilgrim Side Eye" ramble wildly with a funky swagger.
In fact, it might just be easier to say that fans of music will like this — 8-bit chase-scene melodies precede hazy psychedelic interludes before spilling into gentle piano tunes. Across 27 songs — many of them lasting between a minute and two — Flamagra plays like a staggered daydream, where you occasionally return to consciousness, only to slip back into slumber soon after.
This whole ethereal structure is propped up by a star-studded cast too. George Clinton, David Lynch, Solange, Shabazz Palaces and Toro y Moi all make an appearance, and with great success. They are overshadowed, however, by contributions from Anderson .Paak on the soulful "More" and Denzel Curry, who adds his seamless flow to "Black Balloons Reprise."
Everything about this record begs repeating, but this is only solidified by what FlyLo told us in a recent interview. According to him, the last track, "Hot Oct,." bleeds back into the beginning of the album, creating a perfect circle. This is truly built to loop. (Warp)