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Cosmogramma

4.1 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 4, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

When global bass music matriarch Mary Anne Hobbs recently told The Fader ''Flying Lotus, for me,is like the Hendrix of his generation'', it seemed more than an audacious opinion, and with the arrival of Cosmogramma, it's revealed as a revelation. In the past couple of years since his debut album, Los Angeles, Flying Lotus has grown into the position of being far more than a producer, he has helped materialize a far-reaching strain of musical ideology that has encompassed not only a global family of like-minded artists, but also a nearly infinite palate of planetary (and interplanetary) sonics. No longer simply an outgrowth of Ellisona's machines, the music here is also the product of live instrumentalists from the worlds that Cosmogramma engages. There's the constant bass presence of ''Thundercat'', a cornerstone of Sa-Ra Creative; there's Rebekah Raff's harp connecting the dots between the music of Harry Partch and Ghostface Killah (both of which she's performed); there's an appearance by the tenor sax of Steven's cousin and jazz royalty, Ravi Coltrane, and by the voice of one Thom Yorke, an Oxford bloke taking respite from singing in the most influential rock band of the 21st century.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 4, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warp Records
  • ASIN: B003ATUFSK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,408 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don't think its fair to review and rate an album such as this after only one day's listen... it's simply too dense. However, I can't help but offer my initial impressions to those of you still debating or waiting to get your copy.

While Los Angeles has its roots still sample based Hip-Hop, had dashes of Trip-Hop and Electronica, Cosmogramma goes beyond the far reaches of any boxed genre I can think of. The closest I can relate it to is avant garde jazz w/ some futuristic head nodding space grooves. A feeble attempt at classifying something that could very well be a considered a new genre. I know it's been said before about some of his work, but now so more than ever does FlyLo make that argument legit.

What I'm not struggling with is the pure genius that bleeds through the speakers in many of the small moments. The first couple of tracks didn't leave a huge impression on me, but as with the last LP, helps set the stage for stronger cuts like "A Comic Drama" and "Zodiac S*!!". Both are your "typical" solid FlyLo tracks. At that point the album could have coasted and probably still have been a solid 3rd album effort... but all of a sudden we get the intense build of "Computer Face//Pure Being" kicking it up notches beyond dope. The Nintendo generation will have shades of "Mega Man" esq loops interlaced and woven all throughout the track. Never missing a beat from thereon out, the album is loaded with those "holy s$!!" moments of musical ecstasy and you find yourself lost.
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Format: Audio CD
I've heard some people say this album is Flying Lotus' least accessible album and others say it's his most accessible album. I don't really know. I do know that this album had much more work put into it and you can tell. I love albums where you can consistently hear new things in the music each time you listen to it, and this is one of those albums. It has the usual Flying Lotus synth sounds, 8-bit sounds, ever changing drum beats, solid bass, weird unidentifiable sounds, occasional vocals, etc.... but I LOVE the addition of the live bass guitar, harp, and strings scattered throughout. He definitely imitates the Alice Coltrane sound on two songs, and they are beautiful nonetheless. The difference between L.A. and Cosmogramma is like the difference between Miles Davis' In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew. Cosmogramma is like a rocket launch into new territories, utilizing new instruments and a more cacophonous approach, much like Bitches Brew did. It's a great album, and it helps if you are into some of the "cosmic jazz" influences like Alice and Sun Ra. Flying Lotus is headed in the right direction, exploring anything his imagination conjures up, and I hope he goes further.
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Format: MP3 Music
Listening to the music of Steven Ellison is a head trip. Period. Although we may have heard the sounds of Flying Lotus on Adult Swim's interludes (aka 'bumps') between the shows, he was first introduced to the followers of abstract, experimental, and instrumental hip-hop with his debut, 1983 on Warp Records' offshoot, Plug Research. Then, FlyLo showed off his skills with the Reset EP (2007) on Warp, and by 2008 the label was confident enough to backup this California producer of avant-garde beats and free-form jazzy rhythms for his sophomore LP, Los Angeles. By 2009 everyone knew his name, and although there were a few copy-cats in the alleys, no one could cut it as deep and smooth as Flying Lotus. Ellison's stumbling beats and rubbery bass lines defy metronomes and clock synced drum machines. Truly in the spirit of jazz music, Cosmogramma is an improvisational production. The synth lines sprinkle through the confetti of percussion, falling like a dandelion's florets into the dirt beneath a rolling tank of rhythms. Defying your expectations and any genre classification, Ellison's deranged psychedelia is a beautiful child playing with a kaleidoscope of plucked sound. If anything, Ellison's third full length is a lot more "jazzier" than its predecessor. With 17 tracks running a little over 45 minutes, Cosmogramma is an album with a lot of material to digest in one sitting, and begs for multiple returns. And these are definitely rewarded!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you like experimental music, soundscape and rhythm that jives and grooves, buy this album. I will acknowledge that it is definitely not for everyone, but look up a song or two on YouTube, see if you like the vibe, and then proceed to have your mind completely blown when you listen to this. One thing's for sure though, listen to this start to finish, in really nice headphones or with loud speakers, it's absolutely incredible, and I'm keeping my eye in this guy.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Wow - I just came across this after reading the pitchfork best albums of 2010 - no argument with that. So much produced, predominantly electronic music comes off as cold and dark - not this album. Cosmogramma is SO positive and forward-looking, you can really see into the positive and optimistic nature of Flying Lotus. It actually reminds me of Tortoise in some ways, which is similarly, relatively optimistic and warm, but this album has a lot more positive energy without seeming cliche or one-dimensional.

Musically, there are many carefully crafted layers and textures that come together perfectly in every track. Can't wait to hear more from Flying Lotus.
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