Flying Lotus – Tiny Tortures (video featuring Elijah Woods)

This arrived today and it is beautiful.  Echoing Akira (and Tetsuo) and some of the brilliant, creepy videos from Aphex Twin, it’s a dark, cinematic corkscrew in psychedelic miniature.  There are few videos so evocative of their namesake, working as a perfect thematic foil to the song.  Now watch, as Elijah Wood has a fucked up night.

Despite the fact that I haven’t done a full “album post” about Flying Lotus‘ latest opus, Until The Quiet Comes is easily one of my biggest repeat listens of the year.  It’s the living, breathing incarnation of what I’d always kind of hoped his work was pointing towards.  Its growth from 2010’s Cosmogramma is more organic and inevitable than the sudden leap that album made from its predecessor, breathrough lp Los Angeles; naturally, it’s less surprising how radically good this is.  I feel like I took it for granted at first: “Of course this is good.  Well there it goes in my car to stay in rotation for weeks.”  Only a handful of albums have spent so much time as regular, near-daily listen this year, and if it weren’t for Kendrick Lamar’s new release, I could have, possibly, worn it out.

Thankfully this video came along today.  Not only my favorite track, Tiny Tortures was due for some recognition.  On an album crowded with standout moments between sublime guest vocals and dizzying synth work, its sparkling meditative cascade can be mistaken as a gentle interlude.  It’s more like a brief exposure of Quiet‘s spiritual heartbeat.  It reaches transcendence in the emotive dance of its guitar and bass (by second time MVP Thundercat) over a pulse hinting at great-aunt Alice Coltrane’s organ work on one of her masterpieces.  If you haven’t listened to the album yet, here’s your chance to embrace one of the warmest electronic albums in years, a possible masterpiece of jazz and electronic music.

Shabazz Palaces – Live on KEXP

I must begin with a heartfelt thank-you to Kevin for sharing this with me.  Thanks, Kevin!

Shabazz Palaces crafted possibly the best hiphop album of the new millennium with Black Up, something I’ve documented here and here.  Aside its status as a masterpiece of songwriting and innovative production, engaging places of the heart and mind which hiphop rarely acknowledges, the album serves as the blueprint for increasingly thoughtful and fun live appearances.  This particular video is the most professional and high fidelity recording I’ve seen, so despite its brevity there’s no better place to start expanding your view of the group.  Familiarity with the songs is not required for enjoyment – they’re evocative, head-nodding creations in any format  – yet the pleasures multiply when contrasting the live interpretations of such meticulously sculpted album cuts.  The hiphop I’ve seen in person tends toward one end or another: preformed backing tracks to emulate the recorded experience, or stripped down live-band approaches.  The latter are often more fun yet distance the performers from what we hear at home.  Shabazz Palaces seem to cut not a middle ground, but a third path to live nirvana, mixing the laptop histrionics and physical instrumentation with an experimental eye toward carving the feeling into something as disorienting and psychedelic as the album itself.

If you haven’t heard the album you owe it to yourself to check out my writeup and listen to the full stream here.

A Dancing Bug.


I love this show.  Only thing worth watching on children’s television.