Steven Ellison (AKA Flying Lotus) is an artist with a rich pedigree. The great nephew of Alice Coltrane, his ancestry is a clear influence on the jazzy, instrumental hip-hop that comprises his debut.
Prior to dropping this, Fly-Lo had already given an indication of his abilities with the Reset EP, containing the excellent 'Tea Leaf Dancers'. The big drawback of this record is that it lacks a similar track to provide the album with a central focus. Instead this record develops from a lengthy title-track deconstructed into the several shorter, more ambient tracks. Then for the second half of the album, there is another lengthy song, 'Pet Monster Shotglass', again followed by shorter and more chilled electronica tracks.
Fly-Lo's debut is only 33 minutes, but however concise, this is mostly a case of quality over quantity. His beats are cooked to precision, the keys modulated to the exact sound he's looking for. What's most impressive is the atmosphere that is blended, track-by-track - it's both urban, ambient and dubby. From the song titles 'Orbit Brazil', 'Sao Paolo' and '1984', you can tell that he's trying to call to mind a specific time and place, something tropical and claustrophic, placed on the outskirts yet caught up in them. Each track blurs effortlessly into the next.
The album ends with a slightly disappointing vocal track and Daedelus's remix of the title track: unfortunately both of these additions, whilst having their individual merits, feel tacked on and run at cross purposes to the flow of the album.
In terms of technique and production I would definitely recommend this. Fly-Lo brings something new to the table of this genre and his work always has quality in abundance.