So, my 2012 Bonnaroo experience is now up in the air - sadly, that's the nature of things when you move and have to take work as you can get it. But until we know for sure, let's keep going on this lineup coverage, shall we?
Flying Lotus is an enigma to me. The most I know is that the name looked interesting when I first came across it.
For starters, this is the great nephew of Alice Coltrane, born Steven Ellison. Originally, you may have heard him writing beats for Adult Swim, prior to debuting with a full-length album in 2006 with 1983. This is classified as an avant-guard hip hop work. Think... well, I don't know what to tell you to think, because I've never heard any of the people that are referenced in this bio.
And th-th-th-that's all folks. Couldn't resist, sorry. But yeah, that's all the info I've got to work on. I mean, there's probably more, but let's go with that blurb and get down to it, k?
"Clock Catcher" is track number one and it starts off in the most jarring, bizarre way ever - a whole bunch of odd sounds (I think it includes instruments; there's definitely a harp in there), ranging from musical to electronic, but nothing that seems to be meant to be together. And then it suddenly ends. And I am suddenly terrified of what's to come.
It goes right into the second track, "Pickled!" This one actually has a beat, amongst the weird rocket launch sounds and screeching strong sounds. There's a guitar plucking some great scales throughout, and the backbeat is light but funky. If only the accompanying sounds were as appealing.
"Nose Art" actually made me laugh at first. There's something about that beat for some reason? There's also some laid-in vocals telling some sort of story. This has got to be the most intriguing track so far. The sounds are not human generated, unless you count hitting the buttons. I don't know - there's something obviously not electronic to this album, despite it being entirely electronic. There's generally no regular bass like we're used to hearing, and the elements are almost non-sensical.
"Zodiac Shit" (no lie, that's the name) comes right on in without any true shift into a new track. There's the bass I was wondering about, and it seems like we're getting a little more regular of a sound going on here. There's a bit of the cosmic sound the album was more-or-less based on creating, but it goes down to a lower moment, almost fading out. In the same track, a completely different beat kicks up and into what, in my head, should be a whole other song. Does. Not. Compute!
"...And The World Laughs With You ft. Thom Yorke" was featured on "True Blood," so it must be good. No, I'm not saying that as an assumption. I'm saying that as "it better damn well be good." I have no idea where this played into the series, other than maybe where I've heard the voice before. It's definitely got that misty TB sound to it, just sort of floating over a lot of the 'music' behind it. Maybe it was in one of the club scenes. If anyone out there is actually reading this and can comment and help me figure this out, I'd really appreciate it!
I'm a little intrigued by the title, "Arkestry" for the next track. I mean, there's a lot of oddness going in, then this kind of cool drum line that picks up. If the damn squealing strings weren't such an issue overtop, the drums and later accompanying horns would actually sound pretty cool. The only thing keeping it from being decent is that small piercing sound that is cutting through my head like a knife. The rest of the track, while still not coming across as a full song (more like a warm up in one room), is some of the best stuff I've heard yet. Again though, a little over two minutes in, we get a pause and an entirely different song, which actually has a very old-time movie sound to it, thanks to the singing of the strings. I just wish this all made more sense.
"MmmHmm ft. Thudercat" has the lightest sound so far - something between raindrops and a light jazz club. I mean, it picks up, and there are minor distortions throughout the background ghostly notes, but for the most park, the song is gentle and pretty nice to listen to. If y'all have read my review on Bon Iver, you'll know I'm not exactly a fan, but saw the upsides to some of their work. That's about the same feeling I have here. It's tolerable, even likable, especially when put side-by-side with a few other select tracks. Even with the bizarre ending scats.
"Satelllliiiiiiiteee" (and yes, I counted and got all the letters right) almost has an African feel to it, but I might be giving too much credit to this guy for having a direction. So let's just say there are instruments of traditional African descent utilized throughout the track. And rhythms. Eh, sorry, I'm just bitter. It may have something to do with the lack of lyrics, let alone direction, throughout the album. It all sort of drops off in favor of child-like bells into a fade out, then build up (yes, all in one track) of a funk song with some nice picking to it. Why are these grouped together? Why the hell not anymore?
A nice smooth sax makes most of the appealing sound in "German Haircut." The overlaid wind whistling sounds make it definitely sound of times long ago, perhaps in the 20's. This an old, abandoned, or at least downtrodden, bar, where this player is just trying to maintain something, anything, with the band. It does take a slight swing upwards, either out of anger and excitement, for just a moment, before the dream fades out.
"Recoiled" actually does compliment its own title pretty well. There's this gun click sound (which may be claps - sorry if I'm wrong). Every element within the track has that out and drawn back in sound to it. At least there's some sense of unity for this one. I guess that's something to be proud of. Yeah, we'll put that tic in the accomplishment category. They maybe go a little overboard, but hey, shit happens. The attempt is appreciated.
Bah. My roommates just got back from an Edward Sharpe concert, which only makes me hate sitting here with this 'music' so much more. *sigh* We're almost there. Next up is "Dance of the Pseudo Nymph." I'll give credit where it's do - there is a cool sound to this right off the bat. It's bizarre in a way, but kind of awesome and you can actually get a feel of movement throughout it. The beats overlap in a pretty cool way, with a nice use of varying percussion sounds. This one works.
"Drips//Auntie's Harp" falsely makes you think it's going to be some slow, tone-y song, but amps up pretty quickly. It's all electronically done, of course. I have to say, this is probably the most classically electronic sounding song we've come across so far. I mean, at least in comparison with the big names like deadmau5. Of course, he doesn't switch songs completely mid-track! For the love of goodness!! Pick a song, stop and the end of it, and start the next one - ON ANOTHER TRACK.
Literally the sound of table tennis and some shh's and a girl singing something I can't even wrap my head around. That's all I can get out of "Table Tennis" which features Laura Darlington. Who records this? This is avant garde if I've ever heard it - making your own definition of what music actually is. How in the world does this translate to a live performance? I already described it. I'm done with this one.
"Galaxy in Janaki" is the final song, and I am just downright excited by that. It's a fitting ending, where they seem to finally get something right and pretty. There's no attempt to use whatever is within arm's reach to make noise. There's no odd whispers of voices trying to tell us something that just comes across as creepy and indiscernable. It's just a mix of electronic sounds coming together in a semi-melodic jumble.
Added to My Playlist:
- "Nose Art"
- "MmmHmm ft. Thundercat"
- "Dance of the Pseudo Nymph"
- "Galaxy In Janaki"
*Side note - sorry for the lack of video commentary. It's late. I'm tired. And this was tough enough the first time around. The short clips I did see though look awesome and I'm sure make this all so much better.