Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Album Review: Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma (4/5)


Californian music producer Flying Louts' third album Cosmogramma is more of an eclectic, blinding boom of different experimental electronic-based sounds. It's a stimulating set although I'm not sure as to why it is such a hit with critics. It does sound like an unorderly jumble of noise, I guess it takes some unraveling to get into.

Opening track "Clock Catcher," pounces with heavy bass lines, piercing almost distorted synth-lines and loud, excessive warping soundscapes, enough to bring on a pretty impressive migraine, when put on full blast. Following is "Pickled!" which turns up the trance. It's more laid back, effectively complimented by the twingy ear-piercing electronic lines in the backdrop.

Bass driven "Nose Art," concentrates on a more subdued vibrance, toppled by a mysterious computerized female vocal on the backing. The first three tracks are great, from an experimental perspective however more to my liking is "A Cosmic Drama." Atomospheric, flourished with strings and heavy orchestration, backed with harps--it's more setting the scene than what would be recognized as a song in an "cosmogramma" world. "Zodiac Shit," lays on the bass pretty thick, of course layered with weird spacey, sci-fi noises in the backdrop. Better is "Copmuter Face / Pure Being," which loses the heartbeat-mimicking bass lines and cranks up the synths-driven melody and wharping soundscapes.

"And the World Laughs with You," featuring Thom Yorke, drubs with a series of skittering beats. Its down down feel in comparison to the previous tracks remind me of the XX a lot. "Arkestry," lays down the drum beats in the backdrop pretty hard, nicely complimented by the luxury of the horns. It's a different sound to what we've heard so far, more jazz influenced.

At 4-minutes long, the longest track on here is "Mmmhmm" featuring Thundercat, which is one of the first that doesn't really do anything for me. Neither does the second longest that follows "Do the Astral Plane," which romps with distorted bass lines. It has a bit of melody but not enough. "Satelllliiiiiiiteee," weird title; quite a normal track. Toned down dance beats, quiet electronic-studded backdrop and a inaudible female vocals, probably talking about satellites. "German Haircut," trails off the same off-beat jazz as "Arkestry." Sounds like it should have followed right after that, not three tracks after. Similar to "Satelite," "Recoiled," has fun with laid back dance beats and pulsing synth in the background.

There's a couple tracks towards the end of the 17-track set--it's not really that long as most of the tracks are 1 to 2 minutes long, but kinda retrace the same experimental electronic front as the tracks towards the beginning. Cosmogramma is an interesting mix of sounds, not as groundbreaking as critics and fans alike seem to think but I do like a lot.

Best: A Cosmic Drama, Clock Catcher, Pickled!, Nose Art, Arkestry, And the World Laughs with You

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