Today begins the mark of a new series on The West Review: ’10trackmind’. 10trackmind will be an ongoing regular feature, with each piece having a specific focus on one artist, and ten essential songs from their discography.
Ahead of a landmark headline performance at Bristol’s Motion next month, it seemed fitting to kick off 10trackmind with Flying Lotus. Having focused on other projects besides a six studio album over the last two years, one of music’s most elusive and genre-bending figures finally looks set to return to the studio. Here we take a look at ten of Flying Lotus’ essential tracks and collaborations, across five studio albums and seven EPs.
Getting There (ft Niki Randa)
Project: Until The Quiet Comes
Short, sweet, and over before you know it, Getting There is a delicate chug through R&B, accompanied by delicate off-kilter hip-hop percussion. Clocking in at under two minutes, one of Until The Quiet Comes first tracks indicates many hallmarks of Flying Lotus’ sound.
Coronus, The Terminator
Project: You’re Dead
Vast and airy, with choruses of haunting vocals, Coronus, The Terminator recalls the likes of Dark Twisted Fantasy, with elevated J Dilla-esque claps and percussion. Acting as midpoint breather within You’re Dead, sandwiched among a catalogue of jarring, abrasive jazz, Coronus, The Terminator is a welcomed pause for air.
MmmHmm (ft Thundercat)
MmmHmm is among the more softer, melancholic tracks within the expansive collection of songs Flying Lotus has to offer. With Thundercat providing vocals and traits of production, his trademark bass guitar alongside FlyLo’s ever-creeping percussion is a match made to make you say ‘MmmHmm’.
Project: Reset EP
In 2018, lo-fi hip-hop, house and electronica are all the rage as supporting sound to study sessions. And over ten years ago, Flying Lotus began flirting with the idea on 2007’s Reset EP. And today, Massage Situation continues to hold its own as one FlyLo’s best tracks.
Electric Candyman (ft Thom Yorke)
When Radiohead’s Thom Yorke stops by for a collaboration, you know you must be doing something right. Later collaborating again on Until The Quiet Comes, Electric Candyman was the first of the pair’s joint efforts, and the results were mesmerising.
King of the Hill (ft Thundercat & BADBADNOTGOOD)
Project: Brainfeeder X
Released as part of Brainfeeder’s new compilation, Flying Lotus’ label is home to acts such as Ross From Friends and Kamasi Washington. And the first FlyLo track in years, with the jazz stylings of Thundercat and BBNG in support, was well worth the wait.
Never Catch Me (ft Kendrick Lamar)
Project: You’re Dead
Perhaps the most famous and well-received track in FlyLo’s back catalogue, the lead single to 2014’s You’re Dead was a mind-blowing fusion of electronica, hip-hop and jazz. The jaw-dropping video was among 2014’s best as well.
Project: GTA V Soundtrack
A landmark release in Flying Lotus celebrated career so far, Stonecutters was released as part of Grand Theft Auto 5’s all-encompassing soundtrack. And for those of you unfamiliar with the world of GTA, it appeared within the game as part of FlyLo FM, Flying Lotus’ own curated and hosted radio show.
Project: Cinematic Orchestra’s Late Night Tales
Poetically relevant as part of Cinematic Orchestra’s Late Night Tales collection, the cinematic, progressive chill of Auntie’s Harp glides and contorts its way to bliss. Directly opposite to some of the more abrasive tracks within this list, Auntie’s Harp shows the diversity of Flying Lotus’ sound.
Among the best representatives of Flying Lotus’ impossible-to-pin-down sound, Zodiac Shit recalls elements of Aphex Twin’s boundary-less IDM noise, while draped in a dainty jazz-inspired echo. Halfway through the track, Zodiac Shit elevates to a second level of sound, with glitchy King of The Limbs-recalling production.
Flying Lotus brings his all-new 3D show to Bristol’s Motion this December (14th). Tickets to see the Brainfeeder boss playing alongside IGLOOGHOST and Lapalux, are available now from the Motion website.