Flying Lotus releases ‘Pattern + Grid World’ EP Tuesday, streams two tracks

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There’s a hint of irony attached to the title of Flying Lotus’ forthcoming ‘Pattern + Grid World’ EP, considering his tacit intent to obliterate any boxes or labels ascribed to him. Mostly recently, he kick-started a humorous Twitter campaign to off the woefully named genre label ‘Aquacrunk’ before it got its sea legs.

Other attempts to effectively encapsulate his style have been met with little success, with his interstellar career arc capturing elements of hip-hop, ambient, jazz, house, 8-bit synths, IDM and world music alongside a cloud of cosmic vapors. The tag ‘Beat Music,’ has stuck for lack of a better alternative, and only because a head-bobbing beat is often the only constant.

Though Warp Records has thus far withheld an advance copy from this Pop & Hiss scribe, a pair of tracks have surfaced that point toward Steven Ellison’s continued creative restlessness. Common sense dictates that the beats were originally conjured during his ‘Cosmogramma’ sessions, and are now being collected on an odds and sods EP, but you never know with Lotus. In addition to his prolific outside production work, he’s dropped three albums and eight EPs over the last half decade.

Since he’s given relatively few interviews of late, he’s keeping fans guessing -- though he recently answered questions via Twitter that revealed he’s been working with Bilal and is buzzed about local rap anarchist Tyler the Creator. A Tweet from Sunday was directed at Kanye West and asked whether the Louis Vuitton don was still planning on coming through.


All that’s concrete is the music, and even that’s unsurprisingly fluid. Of the streamable tracks, ‘Camera Day’ recycles the beat for ‘Swimming,’ which previously appeared on a Killer Mike and Lotus collaboration for Adult Swim. The stunner is ‘Kill Your Co-Workers,’ a chokehold of NES synths, jazzy snares and an understated orchestral foundation. All that’s needed is a remix from Busdriver, he of ‘Kill Your Employer’ fame.

Flying Lotus -- ‘Kill Your Co-Workers’ by Some Kind of Awesome Flying Lotus -- ‘Camera Day’ (taken from ‘Pattern+Grid World’) by Warp Records

-- Jeff Weiss