FLYING LOTUS plays the Danforth Music Hall on October 13. See listing. Rating: NNNNN
It's kind of a wonder that Flying Lotus, a musician deliberately esoteric in his influence and output, has gained wider notoriety. That's obviously a swipe at the idea of the "average listener" - and the influence of slick PR - than a shot at FlyLo. His compositional syntax has jazz roots, but the L.A.-based producer is successful in part because of the entry points he bores into his beats.
His latest disc has them in abundance: thick, wanton, hip-hop-leaning bass lines (Tiny Tortures), video game whimsy (Putty Boy Strut) and eclectic ornamentation from names like Thom Yorke, Erykah Badu and Thundercat.
There's always something meditative about Flying Lotus's music. On 2010's spectacular Cosmogramma, a joyful requiem created after his mother's passing, it came out in the relentless, escapist pursuit of groove. On this trippier, more scattered collection, it emerges in the looming calm, the open moments that peek through pneumatic melodies, beatific, druggy vocals and that throbbing, omnipresent kick.
Top track: Sultan's Request