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Artist
Flying Lotus
ReleaseProduct
Flamagra Deluxe Vinyl Bundle
Label
Warp
Catalogue Number
WARP291IBUNDLE
Release Date
May 29, 2020
  • Flamagra Vinyl Bundle (2 x LP):

    $59.99
    • Flamagra – Vinyl, 2×LP, Limited Edition

    • Flamagra (Instrumentals) – Vinyl, 2×LP

    • + Poster
    • + WAV / FLAC

    Released: May 29, 2020

Flamagra

We’ve waited five long years for a new LP from Flying Lotus. Steven Ellison has kept busy in the time since 2014’s You’re Dead!, largely by making music for films and directing his own movies, but he’s given us precious little in the way of new music.

One listen to Flamagra and it's clear this is the sort of album that needs half a decade to reach its final form. A record of huge range, Flamagra finds Flying Lotus applying the directorial scope of his screen output to his music. Even by Ellison’s standards, Flamagra is an ambitious record - and it’s also the sort of thing that only Ellison could pull off.

At its core, Flamagra is still identifiable as a Flying Lotus album. The lopsided, circuit-fried boom-bap that has always been the cornerstone of the FlyLo style is all present and correct here, and Ellison’s love of jazz-fusion comes through again on tracks like ‘Pilgrim Side Eye’ (a cut co-written by Herbie Hancock and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson). That squelchy astral-funk sound we’ve seen Ellison play around within his collaborations with Kendrick Lamar also rears its head a few times, something hinted at by guest spots from Thundercat and George Clinton.

Flamagra’s most impressive and unique moments come when Ellison blindsides you with a sharp left turn. Shabazz Palaces blast us off into the cosmos on ‘Actually Virtual’; centrepiece ‘Fire Is Coming’ finds David Lynch incanting a Twilight Zone-style monologue over frenzied drums and sci-fi pads; Flamagra’s second half is peppered by little chamber-jazz vignettes and beat asides. This spirit of invention makes the LP run as much like an OST to an unseen movie as a concept album.

Flamagra is a sprawling masterpiece from one of contemporary music’s great auteurs.

Flamagra (Instrumentals)

Flying Lotus’ 2019 LP Flamagra was a typically bold work from this singular artist. A sprawling epic that encompassed futuristic jazz, fusion-funk, cinematic hip-hop and much more, the album was further testament to FlyLo’s expansive vision for modern music.

Flamagra (Instrumentals) emerges to mark a year since the release of its parent record. As you’ve likely guessed from the title, this collection finds FlyLo stripping away the vocal spots from the likes of David Lynch, Denzel Curry and Shabazz Palaces that peppered Flamagra. Allowing Flying Lotus' inimitable beats and well-versed jazz heritage to take centre stage, alongside the dizzying array of talent from the featured players including Thundercat, Herbie Hancock and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson.

The instrumental arrangements also allow FlyLo’s dazzling compositional abilities to shine even brighter than they did in the vocal mixes. ‘Yellow Belly’ and ‘Black Balloons Reprise’ now both showcase a stronger link to the wonky beats that characterised FlyLo’s early records and also demonstrate how much more expansive his sonic palette has become down the years. Then there is the heightened soul of ‘Land Of Honey’, ‘The Climb’ and ‘Spontaneous’, whose lush harmonies are given even more space in which to sing. Flamagra acts perhaps even more like a suite, the musical rush uninterrupted and allowed to scale new heights.

This new instrumental edition of Flying Lotus’s 2019 LP Flamagra finds the harmonies, melodies, textures and tones of the original album shining brighter than ever.

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