FLYING LOTUS at Danforth Music Hall, Saturday, October 13. Rating: NNNN
Draped in a sparkly purple hoodie and standing over six feet tall, electronic auteur Flying Lotus resembled a flamboyant boxer when he appeared on stage before a packed crowd at the cavernous Danforth Music Hall.
On his critically lauded fourth LP, Until The Quiet Comes, Steven Ellison fuses instrumental hip-hop, space-jazz and layers of microscopic sonic textures that lean towards IDM abstraction. Performing live, however, the Los Angeles-based producer's resoundingly maximal aesthetic and sound is way more bombastic EDM.
For nearly two hours he sent the audience careening through space to a soundtrack of dubstep, pitched-up hip-hop bangers, house, drum ‘n bass - you name it. Ellison cuts between genres the way a hip-hop DJ breezes through hits. The best moments came when he blended the recognizable with the weird, like when Kanye West's Mercy gave way to the hand-claps of Quiet cut Putty Boy Strut.
Encased between mesh screens displaying mind-altering, geometric visuals synched to the music, Ellison played up his image as a post-hip-hop visionary by raising his arms heavenwards as if frozen by an alien tractor beam. The uproarious crowd response he received each time would suggest that this far-out sci-fi spectacle should do much to further that rep.