FlyLo Laptop smaller.jpeg
All photos by Keegan Hamilton
Flying Lotus

Flying Lotus, Teebs, Jeremiah Jae

Neptune

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

More than the textures and delicate recording/mixing techniques,

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Flying Lotus - Neptune Theater - Tuesday, Oct. 23

FlyLo Laptop smaller.jpeg
All photos by Keegan Hamilton
Flying Lotus

Flying Lotus, Teebs, Jeremiah Jae

Neptune

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

More than the textures and delicate recording/mixing techniques, my favorite thing about instrumental electronic music (which I guess you could expand to include all instrumental music) is the introspection, or at least general abstract thought it inspires. The second act to touch the Neptune's stage last night, Teebs (aka Brainfeeder artist Mtendere Mandowa) took us on a trip into his subconscious and our own. I had a flashback (yikes!) to a show I hit at the Neptune late last year where Canadian electro-chiller Teen Daze played a smooth, break-free wave of beats and soundscapes without the vibe-breaking chatter that plagues so many similar artists on stage. Teebs' set was every bit as perfect. His heady, blunted beats caused the sold-out crowd to sway as a mass in a blissful state of beat-hypnosis. The sounds were richly layered, contemplative beasts that were probably some of the some of the nastiest I've heard since...the last time I listened to Flying Lotus.

This came after opener Jeremiah Jae rapped over some of his self-tweaked beats to open things up. Jae is a capable nob-twister and emcee, but kept cutting his tracks short, presumably (since he mentioned something about it) because he had run into some sound issues. The shortened movements were definitely promising though, so I wouldn't write the man off.

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Flying Lotus (L.A.'s Steven Ellison to the layman) took the stage behind a meshy screen which enabled the crowd to view his laptop/controller work and trippy CGI visuals simultaneously. Let me be the nine hundredth (approx. capacity) to say this: shit was bananas. He played into the hand of basically every kind of fan within his range, be it the hermetic beat junky (no J-Rocc), the drug-guzzling raver, the casual hip hop or electronic appreciator - shit, probably even jazz heads (although shouldn't they just start appreciating bland normal stuff?! :-|). Live, he mixes his own, fantastically detailed, massively knocking beats (which have increasingly become movements/songs/journeys) with mashups he's made of popular songs and choice classic selections (some remixes included Jay-Z/Kanye West's "Ni**gas In Paris", Radiohead's "Idioteque", and I believe some Lil' Wayne, Big Sean). His commentary was sparing, but interesting to hear ("This is still my favorite production I've ever made" he said as he dropped "Galaxy In Janaki" from his game-changing epic Cosmogramma). Then, about a third of the way through the set, he gave the hometown crowd a little taste of its own absinthe when Ishmael from Shabazz Palaces stepped to FlyLo's side and spit a verse that was preceded by a ton of 206-centric ad-libs. (Side note here: A Shabazz Palaces x Flying Lotus collaboration is probably the coolest get down since SP remixed Battles.) The crowd was basically going nuts for the duration of FlyLo's lengthy set, but those in the know went especially ham during this cameo. The action didn't stop there, or really at any point during the performance, which is in part due to his effective party-starting jams, and in part due to the mind-altering graphics projection that made anything like a hype man generally obsolete.

It was a majorly successful show, and when I wasn't majorly vibing on the floor, I was perfectly happy to dig into some popcorn and take in the experience.

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