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- Flying Lotus »
Only in Liverpool could one of Warp Records’ hottest signings be playing in a bar where half the customers are only here for a Sunday evening drink.
Flying Lotus, or Steven Ellison as his mother probably calls him, has been causing critics to salivate since his debut album, 1983, was released last year on California’s respected Plug Research label. His recent_ Reset_ EP, his debut for Warp, has prompted a similar reaction.
We soon learn, however, that this is not a full set as we had been led to believe, rather a guest DJ spot, and we fear all that we are going to get is Mr Lotus standing around playing a couple of CDs. We will be proved wrong.
Though labelled as a hip-hop producer, Flying Lotus’ output is more in the vein of broken-beat electro. It has the undertow of glossy hip-hop, but is cracked up with a whole load of twisted interventions. In short, this is classic Warp.
There’s not a piece of vinyl in sight, but the finger sliding action on his pads shows that he is at least doing more than pressing play on a Mac. The man definitely has skills, even tapping out some of his own drum rhythms in perfect timing. A little way in he lets the bass out of its cage; it rattles the tables and it’s the nearest we get to dancing in this sit-down joint.
The man clearly has diverse influences, mixing his own output with a selection of remixes: Mr Oizo, Beastie Boys, Aphex Twin and, erm, Gary Numan. He stamps his mark on everything, throwing in samples and breaks from all over. It’s dark, warm, rhythmic and on the right side of weird. The deep silk of his work is what stands out, as apposed to the more jarring and expansive sounds of some of his labelmates.
The music is good and Flying Lotus is a consummate performer, despite the crap acoustics and the fact that most of the crowd, with the exception of some intent-looking people in hip-hop headgear, seem have no idea who he is.
Later we meet the man himself and he’s aghast we’re reviewing the night._ “Ah man, that wasn’t a proper show.”_ We disagree. Maybe Liverpool can give him a better reception next time.
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