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Pattern + Grid World
“The incorporation of analogue sounds to the digital maze that was Cosmogramma is largely gone, but so are the more conventional beat structures of Los Angeles.”
Flying Lotus, the galactic LA beatmaker whose work has married productivity with innovation since the release of his debut 1983 in 2006, is back only months after releasing Cosmogramma (read our review of that album here). Given that his third full-length is the kind of release that takes time, serious time, to sink in, it feels a little too soon for the electronic wizard, who started the pioneering electronic label Brainfeeder, to return. Too many impressions all at once.
But whereas Cosmogramma formed like a stream of Steve ‘FlyLo’ Ellison’s consciousness, Pattern+Grid World, a seven-track EP, sounds more like a little reminder that the producer hasn’t taken off from the planet just yet. Because regardless of how untouched FlyLo’s sound on the EP seems, it has more in common with his first two albums than his most recent one.
The incorporation of analogue sounds to the digital maze that was Cosmogramma is largely gone, but so are the more conventional beat structures of Los Angeles. The title to the EP tells no lie; aside from some of the lingering bass lines, these tracks cannot have been conceived anywhere but on hardware, and various levels of electronic noise compete with each other on these lush compositions.
‘Kill Your Co-Workers‘ starts off tranquilly with a basic drum kit, but soon descends into a profuse 8-bit soundscape that has the listener as Mario, running around incessantly to see off the remains of whoever may be trying to dead inspiration. The water drips and high-pitched flute of ‘Time Vampires‘ is the one track for your down-time on Pattern+Grid World. ‘Physics for Everyone!‘ is about as catchy as ‘Do the Astral Plane‘ from Cosmogramma—hypnotic synths have the same purpose on the two tracks.
The fact that the latter song wasn’t intended to be on the final cut of the March release, but would have fit in well on this EP—despite its more sparing instrumentation than the tracks on here—is telling.
Words Sven Carlsson
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