Label: Warp Release date: 03/05/10 Link: Myspace Buy: Amazon Musicians getting compared to Jimi Hendrix is great provided they're not holding a guitar at the time, it's usually a sign to sit up straight and pay attention. But comparisons and praise don't count for anything if you can't back it up with some seriously great music, so it's fortunate that with his third (second according to Warp) album - Cosmogramma, Flying Lotus has done exactly that. This sounds like a spiritual successor to DJ Shadow's Entroducing, music so incredibly structured and well-produced it creates almost completely new sounds. Cosmogramma is a truly magnificent album that never stops being absolutely captivating. The music is like a grand scale soundtrack to a dream that shuttles between surrealistic melting wall fantasies, panic-stricken nightmares and serene astrally-inspired interludes. Cosmogramma is a heavily dubstep-influenced album though it transcends the limitations of most genres. The opening bubbling electronic fanfare gives some indication of what lies ahead as it builds in a furious flurry before gradually slipping away to some peaceful harp playing, this disorientating formula is applied throughout the album. It's wildly unpredictable but that is exactly what makes this album so great. Flying Lotus' production is always nothing short of masterful, creating incredibly vivid, fascinating sounds. Much has been made of Thom Yorke's collaboration that features on this album but it's no more or less remarkable than any of the album's other highlights. However it does provide a perfect example of FlyLo's incredible production: Yorke's vocals are masked by seeming allusions to pouring water, as if he were singing from behind a waterfall, or perhaps a more morbid allusion to drowning. It's quite rare that an album can be so impressive simply for the depth and variety of timbré, there is so much here that borders on sublime. FlyLo intended this album to be a 'space opera' and while adoption of such grandiose concepts is usually a cause for uncomfortable squirming and grappling with the unwelcome probable outcome (it's going to be terrible isn't it?), the end result here almost outgrows the ambition of that concept, as if 'space opera' is too normal or explicable a term to apply to Cosmogramma. This album is so unique as to genuinely deserve those celestial connotations. Ambition is always good, but better when it's as fully realised as it is here. This could be a modern masterpiece for electronic music, with more albums like this, he'll be incomparable, an altogether stunning album and an amazing experience for the ear. Photobucket