A&E

A primer for Flying Lotus’ multisensory Brooklyn Bowl experience

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Flying Lotus hits Brooklyn Bowl on October 26.
Courtesy
Ian Caramanzana

Who: He’s a man with many musical hats. At bare bones, Flying Lotus, born Steven Ellison, is an LA-based multi-genre producer. When he’s not hitting drum pads or manning the decks in live settings, Ellison is also a filmmaker, rapper and musician. “I’ve never been one for sports,” he told Anderson .Paak in an interview with Fader. “But with this music thing, I feel like I have the same kind of work ethic that athletes put into their professions.” He has worked on countless projects, from his Sealab 2021-inspired rap persona, Captain Murphy, to his work as a member of LA’s infamous beat scene. Ellison also founded a “forward-thinking” record label named Brainfeeder, whose roster includes bass wunderkind Thundercat, NYC hip-hop duo The Underachievers and French electronic musician Mr. Oizo.

Sound: Everything and the kitchen sink. Ellison’s various compositions draw from his vast musical palate, which has origins in hip-hop but has since expanded to oddball genres like bossa nova, free jazz and trip hop. The Flying Lotus sound is best displayed on 2014’s You’re Dead!, an amalgamation of sorts that showcases his major influences. It received critical acclaim and features appearances by Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg and Herbie Hancock.

Sights: As if building grand musical landscapes wasn’t enough, Flying Lotus has also created a multisensory experience to supplement his tunes. Enter: the 3D experience, which he’ll bring to Brooklyn Bowl on Thursday. Ellison debuted the spectacle at July’s FYF festival, where limited-edition 3D glasses were given to all ticketholders. According to the Los Angeles Times, “laser fans [swept] out overhead like a false ceiling. Sleek digital objects popped out of nowhere … fields of stars blossomed behind him.” His visuals move beyond a limited-engagement, too; FlyLo directed a horror-comedy film named Kuso that’s an abstract, nonsensical take on the genre.

Spin: Newcomers to the FlyLo camp should begin with his most accessible cuts that feature vocal work, like the Kendrick Lamar-featuring “Never Catch Me,” or the tribal drum-backed “Electric Candyman” featuring Raidohead’s Thom Yorke. Wanna get weird? 2010’s Cosmogramma is a concept album of sorts, which fuses elements from electronic music, nu-jazz and trip-hop with various samples while paying tribute to his deceased mother.

Flying Lotus October 26, 7 p.m., $32-$45. Brooklyn Bowl, 702-862-2695.

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