Published On: Fri, Nov 3rd, 2023
Music | By MDN

Flying Lotus review – electronic music legend flexes his jawdropping skills | Flying Lotus


Very few people can say they’ve soundtracked a Netflix series, made music with Kendrick Lamar, Thom Yorke and Herbie Hancock, started a world-famous electronic label, won a Grammy, and are currently directing a Hollywood sci-fi movie. Flying Lotus has done it all, but after having spent time focusing on his cinema, this one-off gig shows the musician is still in the business of making people dance.

Fan-favourite Flying Lotus tracks, including Kendrick collaboration Never Catch Me, 2010’s Zodiac Shit, as well as Black Gold and Pain and Blood from the Flying Lotus-produced animated series Yasuke get huge cheers from the crowd who chant lyrics back in unison. But it’s when Lotus knows he’s in a safe space to experiment that he’s at his happiest.

Midway through the show, he turns the volume down to speak to the crowd, declaring “if it’s not fun for me, it’s not fun for you”, before transitioning into a raucous, racy live DJ mix. The glitchy, percussion-heavy 5.23.19 by Brainfeeder’s own Mono/Poly, with its rolling rhythm and smooth drops, instantly gets the crowd moving; what was a sea of mostly static bodies with bobbing heads turns into a swell of bent knees and swaying arms trying to keep up with booming 808 basslines. Soon after, the audience is blessed with Waajeed’s Power in Numbers – a groovy house cut that gets smiles forming and blood pumping.

At times his multi-genre experimentation feels almost too ambitious and quick – and where there could be more time dedicated to a certain looped breakbeat, bassline, vocal, or synth-heavy cut, he swiftly moves on to the next sound without giving the audience enough time to find their groove. Yet, keeping people in a consistent state of awe over his skill and versatility – there are audible “wows” and scrunched-up faces when the beat drops – shows off Flying Lotus’s excellent musicianship. He creates a rave haven in the city’s heart, taking London’s 9-5ers out of the ordinary and into a glitched-out cyberpunk interzone.



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