Los Angeles beat producer Flying Lotus has been building up to the release of his new album, “Until the Quiet Comes,” for the last few months. The follow-up to his acclaimed “Cosmogramma” arrives Oct. 2, and on Thursday morning, he debuted a short film as a teaser, featuring as its soundtrack snippets of three new songs.
Directed by Kahlil Joseph, the exquisitely rendered, visually striking -- and at times horrifyingly real -- short takes place in an empty Nickerson Gardens swimming pool during a daytime tragedy, and during another shooting on a red-skied summer night, and features images that stab at the heart of Los Angeles.
Blood is involved, as is the death of a young boy in the pool, which sets in motion a series of shattered monocle vignettes that spring from the striking image of the body’s blood washing down the drain.
All the while Lotus’ music, dark and dense, meanders like some of the deeper excursions in Pharoah Sanders’ free-jazz masterpiece “The Creator Has a Master Plan.” These deep mantras collide with modern hip-hop beats whose greatest influence is represented via the T-shirt of a shooting victim/ghost dancer in the film, which reads “J Dilla Changed My Life.”
Lotus scored the images with “See Thru to U,” which features Erykah Badu, as well as two tracks featuring vocalist Niki Randa, “Hunger” and “Getting There."
Got a few minutes? It’s worth your time, if only as an antidote for tonight’s MTV Video Music Awards, whose nominees can barely imagine, let alone touch, the power at the center of Lotus and Joseph’s Los Angeles story.
Watch it below. Though be forewarned: Blood is involved.
Follow Randall Roberts on Twitter: @liledit