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by Flying Lotus

Released May 3, 2010 via Warp Records

Originally reviewed May 5, 2020

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Zodiac Shit (32%), Do The Astral Plane (31%), MmmHmm (16%)

In 2010, Flying Lotus released his third studio album Cosmogramma, a psychedelic blend of electronic, hip-hop, and jazz that feels like an out-of-body experience put into music. ⠀⠀

The title comes from an amalgamation of "cosmic drama." Cosmogramma, as Flying Lotus explains, is the study of the universe and heaven and hell. Similarly, the music of this album captures the feelings of a lucid dream and voyaging through dimensions and sensations that are strange and fantastic. While his first two albums mainly incorporated electronic sounds, Flying Lotus incorporated live instrumentation on this project, resulting in a fusion of the organic and digital sounds that are both vibrant and futuristic. A psychedelic odyssey now over a decade old, Cosmogramma has proven to be a classic that cemented Flying Lotus' place as an artist in a lane all of his own. – Daniel (9.5/10)

Flying Lotus' third studio album, Cosmogramma, a mishearing of “cosmic drama,” solidifies FlyLo as a contemporary artist of considerable worth. Every generation produces a handful of artists that can create pieces which exist outside of the norm, and you can be sure that Steven Ellison (Flying Lotus) and his unique approach to soundscapes and off-beat, glitch-y grooves is comfortably perched among the greats. Thundercat’s bass-playing lends the album a notable funk flair, though it's a funk flare from a far-off galaxy, non-adherent to Earth's comprehension. Cosmogramma defies convention while remaining sonically sound, and at times, stunning in its serenity. It is a true masterpiece and delivers on a front that not many records that came before and not many that are still to come can possibly live up to. – Peter (9.5/10)

On its surface, Cosmogramma appears to be a full-throttle voyage through time-space, racing through noise with no concern for which sound is a good one or if it indicates danger. However, this voyage has layers made up of intricate sonic cues suggesting this journey is not aimless, but is actually a mission or better yet, an experiment. Pulling influence from dissonant jazz like Archie Shepp and Albert Ayler, mashing it with dubstep-style instrumentation and straining that concoction through lo-fi house rhythm a la Ron Trent, Flying Lotus embarks on a mission to find out how strange happiness can really be. Although Cosmogramma isn’t immediately appealing in its glitchiness or in the way it utilizes obscure sounds, there’s a certain allure when the listener's ear settles on an element and finds its groove that evokes a Vitamin D-like response from the brain. Multiply that moment of fascination by as many noises as are in this record and a person can find themselves replaying Cosmogramma almost endlessly. – Pax (8.7/10)

Flying Lotus is the sound-author of a dark and whimsical deep-space oddity titled, Cosmogramma, that remains amongst the most boundless sonic adventures on the fringes of the current hip-hop market. There exists a lineage within FlyLo that pulses a spectrum of Coltrane-esque ideologies into the worlds of hip-hop, electronica & IDM – placing them in this dramatic, panoramic spectacle we know as Cosmogramma. Cosmogramma is made up of several intricate and stimulating sound ensembles that range from being eerie and otherworldly, to oddly funky and danceable. Thundercat’s hyper-sonic bass playing accelerates FlyLo’s sounds into exhilarating warp-speeds, as nearly every detail of Cosmogramma aims to suspend the listener in cosmic drama. For accomplishing that idea and then some, its innovations are spoken ten years after the fact. – DeVán (8.5/10)

Daniel: 9.5/10 | Peter: 9.5/10 | Hadley: 9/10 | Cam: 8.8/10 | Pax: 8.7/10

Dominick: 8.6/10 | DeVán: 8.5/10 | Jared: 8.5/10 | Enth: 8/10


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