Stephen Ellison’s 2010 would have already been a lifetime highlight, even if he were to pack it up for the rest of the year and wait to meet us on the other side of 2011. But Ellison, not content to allow too long of a pause in his Flying Lotus legacy, has issued a brand new EP just four months after the release of his stellar long player, Cosmogramma. We probably should have seen this coming; he did likewise in 2008, following up his Los Angeles album with three similarly titled 12-inch singles. The man’s not just wildly inventive and forward thinking, he’s also incredibly productive.
Pattern + Grid World is a seven-track, 18-minute EP that works as both a standalone set of songs and a companion to Cosmogramma. In fact, you can hear bits and pieces of fragments of that album’s ideas and influences in a handful of songs, like the 8-bit avalanches in “Kill Your Co-Workers.” But Pattern, by and large, is more immediate, though not necessarily simpler. With songs breezing by at two and three minutes apiece, FlyLo is mostly having fun here, though not at the expense of a good song.
“Clay” starts off the brief set with some thick and distorted synthesizer sounds, beaming from some far off galaxy to find intelligent life with which to party. When the beats kick in, the party gets even hotter, if still somewhat abstract. A “Centipede” tournament breaks out in the chip electro of “Kill Your Co-Workers.” Some bad dudes show up with the dark and sinister banger “PieFace.” Mysterious pills are consumed in the off-kilter “Time Vampires.” And everyone goes back to getting the eff down on the handclap-heavy closer “Physics for Everyone!”
Where Cosmogramma is like a beat-driven trip into the cosmos, Pattern + Grid World is more of an abbreviated house party with extraterrestrials. And that’s every bit as fun as it sounds, so if the little green men show up with a keg, order some pizzas and throw this on the hi-fi.
Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
Daedelus – Fairweather Friends
Nosaj Thing – Drift
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.