This isn’t a record. It’s a proper full fat concept album. A spaced out funk epic inspired by David Lynch which takes us on a journey from an “eternal flame sitting on the hill” with musical influences rich in hip hop, jazz, soul, funk, jazz, dance and classical music.
Steven “Flying Lotus” Ellison teams up with some of his closest collaborators; Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner and Anderson .Paak as well as guests Solange, George Clinton, Toro y Moi and Shabazz Palaces to produce one of the most stunning records of his career.
At a whopping 27 songs (which blend into a movement) and 5 years in the making, Flamagra has a dream-like, psychedelic vibe which is at times chaotic and others soothing and comforting. At all times the technical wizardry is sublime and effortless and as each track builds on the last you become more and more in awe of this incredible musician and producer’s ability. For some listeners wanting an easy listen, an almost 70 minute run time on this scale may prove too strenuous.
My stand out tracks are Takashi, More (with Anderson Paak), The Climb (featuring the sublime vocals and bass of Thundercat) and Spontaneous (featuring Little Dragon). There’s a hint of Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz at times in this alternate, almost comic book universe, that is always stimulating.
The LA sound that Fly Lo and his contemporaries defined for the last decade develops into a remarkable experience brimming with emotion and technical joy in Flamagra. So pour yourself a drink, put the lights down low, fire up the recliner chair and join him in the journey.
Ancient Photo: Simon Fernandez
Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]
If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]