“Af­ter my last record came out, I started hear­ing a bunch of stuff that was try­ing to sound like that record, and it was re­ally frus­trat­ing for me”

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

WHEN STEVEN El­li­son was a kid grow­ing up in Cal­i­for­nia, he wanted to fly. He’d look at the su­per­heroes in his comic books and video games and dream about pos­sess­ing sim­i­lar pow­ers. He still dreams about this. “Let me be the in­cred­i­ble fly­ing man and I’ll be the hap­pi­est cat ever,” he chuck­les. “I don’t want to be greedy with the su­per­pow­ers. The other shit will get you in trou­ble. I don’t want to live for­ever or be in­vin­ci­ble, be­cause I’ll turn into a vil­lain af­ter a while. I just want to fly.”

In some ways, El­li­son got his wish. These days he’s best known as Fly­ing Lo­tus, elec­tronic mu­sic’s most out-there space cadet. There may be a glut of pro­duc­ers op­er­at­ing in that fold be­tween elec­tron­ica and hip-hop, but FlyLo is the only one you re­ally want to get high with. No one else walks the as­tral walk like he does.

Re­leases such as 1983, Los An­ge­les and Re­set saw El­li­son set out his stall, but cur­rent al­bum Cos­mo­gramma sees him take a very dif­fer­ent path. In­stead of just re­trac­ing his steps and do­ing what peo­ple ex­pected, he put a jazz­ier, more im­pro­vised, cos­mic shape on his sound. The re­sults are eerie, dreamy, fuzzy, fizzy and daz­zling. Copy­cats who’ve made a ca­reer from ap­ing El­li­son’s cast-off beats will be scratch­ing their heads for some time to fig­ure out how to em­u­late this trip.

FlyLo couldn’t care less. “I re­ally do think that ground has been over­worked,” he says of the pro­duc­ers who con­sider them­selves his peers. “There are just so many pro­duc­ers do­ing that shit now – it’s hard to find any­thing new. But I’m fine with them do­ing that be­cause I’m go­ing to keep do­ing new things, dif­fer­ent things, and even­tu­ally they’ll catch up.

“They can keep try­ing to re­make my last al­bum and I’ll be on an­other planet.

“Af­ter my last record came out, I started hear­ing a bunch of stuff that was try­ing to sound like that record, and it was re­ally frus- trat­ing for me. I mean, surely there’s other stuff to ex­plore with­out do­ing that? I al­ways want to en­cour­age peo­ple to keep it mov­ing, to keep it pro­gress­ing, to keep ex­per­i­ment­ing, to stay true to them­selves, but there are some who choose to im­i­tate in­stead. Their call, I sup­pose. I’m cool with it now.”

What El­li­son wants to do in­stead is make mu­sic even he doesn’t ex­pect to hear. “For a long time, I was just in­ter­ested in im­press­ing

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