Music April 29, 2010 By Todd Rosenberg

filler57 Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma

Warp Records

Warp Records

flyinglotustitle Flying Lotus: CosmogrammaFlying Lotus’ commanding second album conjures alternate titles in my mind: “2010: A Space Oddity” or, perhaps more appropriate, “Sketches of Space”. Yet Cosmogramma is quite fitting — a journey into an alternate musical universe, seemingly worlds beyond ours. It’s a giant leap forward for this LA-based producer; not that his debut wasn’t impressive, but as its name Los Angeles connotes, he still had his feet firmly on local ground. Jet-pack strapped, FlyLo has taken along on his fantastic voyage a time capsule of jazz, funk, and psychedelics that leaks out across his electro blueprints. With its spastic, virtuoso bass line courtesy of Thundercat, “Pickled!” is the sound of droids dancing, while “Mmmhmm” is like an Outkast or Foreign Exchange track in orbit. “Computer Face/Pure Being” (stream below) is what Parliament-Funkadelic might be doing today if they were still making new music and using a Galaga machine as an instrument. Most promising is the showcase Flying Lotus creates for top musicians and vocalists including relative Ravi Coltrane on sax, harpist Rebekah Raff, and fellow cosmonaut Thom Yorke on guest vocals — it’s the deft trick Massive Attack and UNKLE employed to great strength when coming up, and it’s potent here. Most likely, the best electronic record you’ll hear all year and yet it’s so densely packed with multiple styles and layers, it could take through next year to fully decode its wonderful complexity.

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Cosmogramma comes out May 4. Buy this at Other Music or iTunes.