Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Flying Lotus – The Roundhouse, London 07/11/14

12 November 2014, 10:00 | Written by Jack Dutton

In 2010, LA producer Flying Lotus played one of his first major shows in the UK, at Bestival on the Isle of Wight. Dressed in a baggy black top and a snap back, he seemed cautious as any relatively new artist on the scene.

Fast forward four years and he is one of the most talked-about producers out there, effortlessly marrying the genres of hip hop, jazz, funk, footwork and electronica to create something even more astonishing than the sum of its parts. Tonight, he is far more composed, looking dapper in a tuxedo as he introduces himself to the audience.

Before getting to work behind the boards, Fly Lo urges an overly keen spectator to put their iPad down so he can give them “something they can feel”. After they take note, he puts on some creepy luminous specs and walks behind a big screen that a 3D light display gets projected upon.

A minute passes. You hear a bassline so low it makes the mucus fall out of your ears. The lights immediately start to mess with your head, spawning darkest images of spiders, tentacles, skulls and eyeballs. Sometimes these images are hiding in kaleidoscopic patterns on the projector; sometimes they’re more in your face.

You can spot Flying Lotus’ sinister silhouette behind the lightshow. He begins his set with some of his older tracks, including “Camel” and “Melt!”, before going on to play some unreleased material, including a new track featuring Chance The Rapper. After “Computer Face/Pure Being” brings the room level of into sonic euphoria, Flying Lotus comes out behind the screen and starts rapping under his alias, Captain Murphy. He runs through three Murphy tracks, including “Between Friends”, where he raps Odd Future’s Earl Sweatshirt’s verse.

But among the heavy hip hop beats and scatty footwork, there were some more tender moments. The spine tingling “Getting There”, off his fourth album Until The Quiet Comes, brought a melancholy feel to the set. “Coronus the Terminator” echoed off the walls of the Roundhouse, just before a 10ft Grim Reaper came on stage. It felt like something out of a movie.

Fly Lo finishes off with the lead single off his new album, “Never Catch Me”, featuring bass line funky enough to do any Parliament or Funkadelic fan proud. As Kendrick Lamar’s guest verse fades out, Lotus fades DJ Rashad’s “Pass That Shit” in, before mixing it back into “Never Catch Me”.

Towards the end of the show, Fly Lo gives a big shout out to former label mate Austin Peralta and footwork pioneer DJ Rashad, two talented artists who passed away over the last couple of years. The combination of a mesmerizing light show and rugged spacey hip hop contorts time. Still maintaining his humbleness and cheeky grin, Fly Lo comes on for a brief reflection and thank you from the audience. Minutes later, he comes on for an encore to rap over TNGHT’s “Bugg’n”. This was an artist on top form, who left every person in the building wanting more.

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