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Live Review: Flying Lotus, JPS

6 February 2015 | 1:57 pm | Matt MacMaster

“A’ight, fuck it. You’re dead.”

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“A’ight, fuck it. You’re dead.”

With this statement, Steven Ellison dropped a neutron bomb right into the heart of Sydney’s cultural headspace. Flying Lotus’ latest record, You’re Dead!, explores the moment of death at a conceptual metaphysical level. It’s an intellectual and visceral tour-de-force, and challenges as much as nourishes you. His show, the second at the Opera House, continued his Layer 3 experiment and expanded it using visuals supplied by Japanese guro artist Shintaro Kago. It cannot be overstated how incredible the experience was. It was a seamless amalgamation of art and technology that showcased a man at the top of his game, a modern day Coltrane wise in the ways of multimedia, a man with superhuman levels of insight and intuition as to how music fucking speaks to people, aurally and otherwise.

First up, JPS (aka Jerry Poon, head honcho of Melbourne’s The Operatives) dropped a rich set using hip hop, jungle and future-bass to give us a taste and prevent us from dropping in cold to Ellison’s epic vision. Slippery grooves underpinned the sequence, giving it warmth. Compared to what followed though, well, it was like having the faint taste of copper in your mouth just before lightning strikes.

FlyLo moved on stage wearing a death mask like something out of Mad Max, and all night his glowing eyes leered out of the skull behind the screen. As he moved through a set overflowing with pulsating bass lines and complex erratic beat patterns, hi-res visuals poured off the screen. Industrial fractals, luminescent organic matter and neon geometric vistas competed for space. Ellison reached into hip hop, jazz and soul to create lush textural environments and dense musical loops that were matched by the visuals with incredible flair.

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The man was wielding synaesthesia right in front of us. It was next level.

PS Congrats to JPS – proposing to his lady right on stage as the night closed!