Album Review: Flying Lotus – ‘Cosmogramma’ (Warp)

A moody, widescreen, be-bopping riposte to UK dubstep

Channelling the same cosmic ambition that drove his great-auntie Alice Coltrane, the title of FlyLo’s self-styled ‘space opera’ is perhaps a nod to its boundary-less, map-scrunching approach. In mood and style, though, it’s a telegram from our own digital planet, picking us up where the laptop prof’s ‘Los Angeles’ debut dropped us for another nocturnal journey through LA that serves as a moody, widescreen, be-bopping riposte to UK dubstep. Only this time it’s a flashier ride. His mix of minimal beats and muzzy, J Dilla boom is resprayed with strings, a muscular glitch’n’bass virtuosity like Squarepusher, swarthy jazz and ’70s TV samples, and a breath-catching appearance from Thom Yorke on ‘…And The World Laughs With You’. Sometimes, the speed on the cornering leaves you thinking he could’ve pulled over to let a few of these jams come into focus, but that’s a minor fault on this trip.

Chris Parkin

Click here to get your copy of Flying Lotus’ ‘Cosmogramma’ from the Rough Trade shop