Flying Lotus: Pattern+Grid World


Steven Ellison's future was written long ago. The great-nephew of jazz legends John and Alice Coltrane, his path to music was always obvious. The compositions he creates as Flying Lotus, however, are anything but. Pattern+Grid World, his new Warp EP, finds him exploring similar bracing textures as on his acclaimed full-lengths, but a greater sense of urgency permeates these 18 short minutes. The songs on Pattern, like the spastic "Kill Your Co-Workers," could be labeled Nintendo-techno-soul. Lotus' hip-hop-oriented Los Angeles concerned itself with negative space, while this year's luminous Cosmogramma moved into the free jazz/drum and bass realm. This EP is an extension of that record's glitchy chaos, but these songs feel less complete; they feel, in fact, more like Lotus' epigrammatic Adult Swim bumps than fully formed songs. Still, it's a hypnotic, engrossing listen, if not quite a magnum opus. And, given his track record, Ellison's bound to have one of those coming. (3 out of 5 stars)