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LIVE: Flying Lotus at Terminal 5 (10/7/12)

By Ross Belfer on October 11, 2012


LIVE: Flying Lotus at Terminal 5 (10/7/12)

Flying Lotus
Terminal 5
New York City
October 7, 2012

Just minutes before Flying Lotus took the stage Sunday night at NYC’s Terminal 5, a question was humming around the venue: which FlyLo would we see tonight?

Would it be the electro-jazz experimentalist accompanied by a backing band (including Brainfeeder label mate Thundercat)? Or perhaps the genre-bending hip-hop DJ whose solo performances and brand of electronic music has helped redefine the L.A. electronic music scene.

Performing behind a large projection screen replete with a cosmic laser-light show spinning throughout, the enigmatic musical futurist commonly known as “FlyLo” delivered a high-intensity concert on the second day of his nearly-week-long NYC residency. The sold-out venue packed to the brim with 3,000 concertgoers waiting to hear tracks off the highly anticipated new album, Until the Quiet Comes;  one might assume that FlyLo has begun a new phase of his musical legacy.

Throughout the set, FlyLo displayed a deftness to create his own musical universe by meshing current rap classics with his own songs. This delicate balance between the original and the borrowed -- and the melodic and the dissonant -- is what Flying Lotus has come to be known for.

Some might disapprove of a musician who incorporates songs borrowed from his peers into live performances, but we must understand FlyLo is studio rat and the intentions of his live performances are to give fans an unparalleled fun experience. With this in mind, FlyLo’s live track selection has become somewhat of an element of surprise during his performances. Fans have come to expect remixes of Lil Wayne’s “I Feel Like Dying,” Radiohead’s “Idioteque” and most recently, Frank Ocean’s “Thinking of You,” which were reworked, mutated and integrated with his own tracks, including “Kill Your Coworkers,” “Pie Face,” “GNG BNG” and “Camel”.

From the side of the stage, I spotted a certain individual donning the infamous “J Dilla Changed My Life,” T-shirt (a reference to the late legendary hip-hop producer whom FlyLo has often cited as a major musical influence). This individual was none other than Story Basquiat, the Brooklyn-based contortionist dancer who appeared in FlyLo’s stunning promotional video for “Until the Quiet Comes.” Taking fans by surprise, Story Basquiat undulated onto the stage for a live dance performance during a rendition of the gorgeous “Getting There”  from the new album.

Following the set, I sauntered my way through the steamy crowd outside the venue, hoping to have a few minutes to myself to process the musical universe I had just exited. Hopefully I won’t have to wait much longer until the quiet comes…F

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