Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Flying Lotus

Andy Beta has a great interview with Stephen Ellison, aka Flying Lotus, up on his blog. I just got the new Lotus album Cosmogramma yesterday and have only managed to listen to it once, but on first impression it's one of a handful of amazing things I've heard so far in 2010*. The impression that I'd gotten from various reviews was that the album was overstuffed, dense, wearying--but I found it to be more spacey (Ellison has called it a "space opera") and airy than his previous album, Los Angeles. There's a '70s spiritual jazz quality to it that distinguishes it from the Dilla-esque beat density of Los Angeles (which is a great album too; I'm just surprised at the critical angle on Cosmogramma); it's more contemplative and introspective, and the Alice Coltrane connection that Beta delves into is abundantly evident.

I don't want to overstate the album's breezy qualities: the music is still heavily layered with lots of synth and cascades of processed beats; at times it reminded me a little of Aphex Twin's post-ambient stuff, though searching where Aphex is ironic. I wasn't surprised to read Ellison's response to a question about what Warp Records stuff he liked before they signed him: "I'd always loved the Broadcast stuff and obviously Aphex Twin, Squarepusher." The whole interview is good, especially if you're an Alice Coltrane fan.

*I've got a post listing everything I've liked so far this year (not necessarily from 2010) languishing in my drafts; it was originally called Quarterly Report, so maybe I'll end up doing a first half of 2010 list in June instead.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thibault et l'arbre d'or

One for Megan, who will no longer qualify for a long-distance dedication soon. This is from Emmanuelle Parrenin's 1977 album Maison Rose, which might show up in the favorite albums series at some point.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dilettante Perfume Blenders

"We are, in short . . . increasingly un-centred, un-moored, living day to day, engaged in an ongoing attempt to cobble together a credible, or at least workable, set of values, ready to shed it and work out another when the situation demands. I find myself enjoying this more, watching us all become dilettante perfume blenders, poking inquisitive fingers through a great library of ingredients and seeing which combinations make some sense for us--gathering experience--the possibility of making better guesses--without demanding certainty."--Brian Eno, quoted in David Toop's Ocean of Sound

Monday, May 3, 2010

One Year Later

Elephant Rock began one year ago today. I'd be embarrassed to make too big a deal out of that, but I will say that a year ago I definitely did not expect this to last very long. Thank you all for reading and enjoy our theme song!