Flying Lotus is cooler than you. Sure he might not know anything about you but it is a certainty. His stock has been flying high for years. With each release he gets closer to a level of perfection rarely attained by producers. Long ago his peers gave up content for middling status. Prefuse 73 calls Flying Lotus all the time. There are more important things than calling back Prefuse 73 when you’re Flying Lotus. Already Flying Lotus is responsible for roughly 80% of all Adult Swim bumps. Now with his move into Goth territory he’s capitalizing on the hottest Goth craze sweeping the nation (via the economic depression).
What can “You’re Dead!” do differently? Probably nothing and that is a wonderful thing. At this point Flying Lotus has become a critical darling. Every time Flying Lotus releases an album he gets gift baskets from music reviewers thanking him for putting out something worth reviewing. Flying Lotus changes the template ever so slightly with each additional release. Mixtures of everything come into play on a Flying Lotus record, but fun is the biggest attraction.
A lot of artists believe that to be a great artist they need to sound tortured all the time. This thought reached its absolute peak with the early to mid-aughts via the EMO craze. EMO exhausted itself and became dubstep since everybody was sick of feeling bad. Flying Lotus moves beyond these mere genres though to create something new. Every Flying Lotus track sounds quite frankly, stunning, like Flying Lotus enjoyed putting it together piece by painstaking piece.
Can Flying Lotus continue his rich legacy of bringing the jams? Considering the consistency of his output it is likely that he will. That is a very good thing indeed.
What fun life was! In the beginning there was nothing then suddenly something. The something creeps up on people before they know it. People tend to move slowly through their life contemplating things they knew they would not need in the future. School is full of these experiences. Friendship appears to be the greatest benefit out years of schooling. Any other benefit is a bonus.
Lectures are made for sitting. People listen to a professor as he prattles on about whatever subject he is teaching. The doodling people do is incredible. Hundreds of pieces of art are created through schools. Unfortunately schools fail to realize the potential artists they have honing their craft in droning lectures. The greatest tragedy of schooling is that exact loss of creativity the coloring inside the lines that everybody appears to be so keen about.
Outside of school people’s lives continue as normal. They go to concerts to watch opening acts play stuff on their laptops. Visuals accompany these sad acts because the sad acts know if any of the concert goers knew they were playing solitaire it would be all over. Such things would prevent them from getting paid in free beer and a nice crisp clean twenty dollar bill. Audience members appear to be completely unaware of this fact and willingly pay money to watch people open their laptops. Electronic acts try to counter this problem by bringing a singer to distract from the massive technology.
Jobs waste time. Money is a necessity. For hours on end people find themselves in situations they would not have freely chosen. Essentially work is daycare for adults. By keeping them occupied they never ask the big questions like “why is my career in selling paint” and “why is there a drunken Santa Claus in my store when it is September”. Plenty of questions without answers dwell in the mind. Questions without answers buy nice Cape Cod houses in the mind, live on a quiet cul-de-sac, and send their kids to good private schools.
Depression comes in every life. How people deal with disappointment is how they define their lives. The temptation to let depression run its course is strong. Better is to find the seedling of depression and crush it. Considering how easy it is to kill off houseplants it should be easy to kill off depression. Depression is strong and can attach itself to a personality, refusing to let go until it is looked at in full. Having friends helps with this, having lovers helps defeat it.
Some people are kicked to the curb and some people become that curb. With a great lack of movement comes an overall appreciation of the world. Every minute detail becomes incredibly important. Few people are able to put down the most basic of details. Usually those details are glossed over in favor of the ‘big picture’. Not everybody has that kind of eyesight. Those with nearsightedness see the details. Although they miss the big picture they are able to focus on the smallness of things a person’s haircut and the quality of the coffee.
Individuals who spend fifteen hours at a time in a coffee shop are eccentric. There is little else to be said about it. Coffee shop workers simply accept the fact that the person manages to sit there absolutely still writing about their entire environment. For the coffee shop workers have bigger things to do like making coffee, selling pre-packaged foods, and trying to earn those tips. Life in a coffee shop is nasty brutish and long. Hours go on forever with people simply happy to have their fix of caffeine. People need caffeine to get through their lives since their lives are so boring that they are putting them to sleep. If anybody’s life puts them to sleep it should be seen as a sign of change.
Thankfully this usually does not happen. People struggle through their lives. From above their pay grade owners determine who can stay and who can leave. Chain stores are able to determine this quite easily. When a line of business becomes unprofitable there is nary a thought for the workers. Instead what matters is a reasonable return on investment for the owners, both the CEO and the CEO’s beloved shareholders. Everyone else finds themselves at the mercy of an unknowable force a currency that requires faith and signifies nothing.
With this competitive environment in place it can be hard to notice the small details the lives that passed people by. The stragglers find themselves at the margins of society wondering where their lives went. They do not necessarily need to be poor. Over the course of years they watch as the world changes and changes for the worse for them. People are elevated and people decline in accordance with the world. After life calms down enough random passersby are able to see those remnants, the pieces of a life not lived, and wonder what could have been.
Hey Mother Death’s “Highway” is all about atmosphere. Bass frequencies rumble throughout the four lengthy pieces. On each one there are the wonderful dark textures. The ways the pieces are packaged include a great deal of near-whispered sounds, nods to early industrial, and hints of dance music thrown into the mix. Everything mixes to a sort of panicked energy. Incredibly addictive the songs tease out their many charms across the expansive tracks allowing for small details to gain great power.
With the opener “Highway” Hey Mother Death moves towards poppy pastures. The beat tightens up with the passage of time. One of the collection’s highlights immediately follows with the driving rhythm of “The Hills”. For that particular track they let things spread out. Guitars hang in the air as the speaker’s French adds an additional element into the mix. At times akin to a hallucination the song drives forward. Things move into smoked filled lounge vibe with “Bad Sex” a song with strong hints of the 80s hanging around it. The longest song it uses similar methods employed on the previous tracks: spaciousness, echoes, nods to dub, and that elusive voice.
“Snake Power” ends the collection off on nearly a rock inspired finale. Unlike the previous tracks it starts off fully formed with a clear structure. With this in place Hey Mother Death plays with the listener’s expectations letting the repetition slowly taking everything other element over. “Highway” is a collection with plenty hidden beneath the surface.