The Plug One 2000s: Flying Lotus, “1983”

82. Flying Lotus, 1983
Plug Research
Released October 3, 2006

Born Steven Ellison and a nephew of Alice Coltrane, Flying Lotus appeared in random spots before 1983: a beat for Adult Swim here, a Mia Doi Todd remix there. And the luminous cluster burst that was his debut resembled other phenomena: the romantic indulgences of Daedelus (who contributes a hopped-up remix of the title track), the vocal chops and edits of Scott Herren, and the breakbeat soul of Madlib, Jay Dee and many others. But his vision was original. The “Space is the Place” vibe of the opening title track unfolded into “São Paolo,” a series of handclaps syncopated into percussive funk. The minute-long “Bad Actors,” a backhanded homage to Lotus’ native L.A., morphs into “Pet Monster Shotglass” and an unfocused stutter-step. There is the final epiphany of “Untitled #7” and its soft, synthetic patter, the psychedelic ballad “Unexpected Delight” (voiced by Daedelus’ partner Laura Darlington), and the Daedelus remix. That’s eleven songs, 33 minutes, and one mostly instrumental journey into laptop metaphysics.

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