Flying Lotus Brings Acclaimed “3D” Live Show Back to Covington This Week

The eclectic sound sculptor will perform at the Madison Theater on Thursday, Sept. 5

click to enlarge Flying Lotus - Photo: Timothy Saccenti
Photo: Timothy Saccenti
Flying Lotus

The sound sculptor behind Flying Lotus is Steven Ellison, a Los Angeles native whose ambitious visions flow naturally from family lineage (his great aunt and uncle are Alice and John Coltrane and his grandmother wrote songs for Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross) and such likeminded sonic adventurers as Miles Davis and Madlib. Flying Lotus’ first album in five years (and sixth overall), Flamagra, is a sprawling, genre-jumping beast of an effort spread over 27 tracks in 67 minutes. Some of the songs are conventional in the sense that they feature R&B-flavored vocals from Solange and Anderson .Paak but the majority are soundscapes that merge Ellison’s love of Jazz and Hip Hop. Think DJ Shadow by way of Bitches Brew.

“Takashi,” with its mélange of vintage-sounding organs and synths and syncopated beats, recalls a prime-era Stevie Wonder arrangement in overdrive, while the jaunty “All Spies” comes on like a yet-to-exist videogame soundtrack from the early 1990s. Most curious of all is “Fire Is Coming,” which features spoken word from filmmaker David Lynch amid a backdrop of mechanized beats that get more and more frantic as the track concludes. It’s a strange and oddly wondrous excursion, the type of experiment that combines Ellison’s love of oddball pop-cultural touchstones and ass- and mind-stimulating beats.

Ellison has said that in the midst of assembling what would become Flamagra, he kept thinking about an “external flame sitting on a hill,” a vague vision that became a sort of overarching theme — a theme that never becomes fully apparent even after multiple listens, which is probably just as its crafty creator intended.

Flying Lotus will bring his critically-acclaimed “3D” live show — featuring dazzling visual projections and effects — back to Madison Theater in Covington on Sept. 5. Get tickets and more info at

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