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Posts Tagged ‘Cosmogramma’

(Editor’s Note: This piece appears on The Bowery Presents The House List. Check it out here)

There is what ears are and there is what ears are capable of being. They are organs connected to neural pathways, vehicles for sound. And what they are capable of being is gateways to the divine, messengers for humanity’s greatest gift: music. Those who honor music know its power. Production, with a mind toward the eternal, creates truth, universally recognizable and intoxicatingly beautiful. And ears, fixed upon truth, tap into a boundless well of pleasure.

With a deep interest in sound, both its production and consumption, Brainfeeder’s traveling showcase descended on The Bowery Ballroom last night, attracting a sold-out crowd with sets from the record label’s growing stable of artists. Brainfeeder “began by Flying Lotus,” and the Los Angeles producer’s unique aesthetic guides and unifies the label. His latest album, Cosmogramma, is a veritable masterpiece, merging jazz, hip-hop and electronic music. And Brainfeeder artists, whether subtly or overtly in the case of opener Teebs inserting a segment of Cosmogramma into his mix, see this album as their mission statement.

Flying Lotus, joined by jazz keyboard prodigy Austin Peralta and budding bass phenomenon Thundercat, appeared late into the night. When the trio relaxed into a groove, the result captured the spirit of J Dilla meeting acid jazz. But even though Flying Lotus is one to pay homage to greats, he also embraces his own identity—weaving Lil Wayne remixes among original works and a silly song about DMT. Never mind his oft-repeated half-apology, “I have no idea where I’m going with that shit.” After four hours of incredible, largely improvised music from the Brainfeeder collective, spontaneity and creativity were pleasure to the ears.

Photo courtesy of Charles Steinberg

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Last week, I did my share of complaining, both about the abundant praise which Kaye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is receiving and “Best Of” lists in general. But, for all my gripes, I too am complicit in the creation of “Best Of” lists and contributed to Prefix’s Best Albums Of 2010. If you follow the link, you’ll see that I wrote a couple of descriptions for #34 – Gonjasufi: A Sufi And A Killer and #10 – Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma (which, in fact, is my favorite album of the year). And, because I love you all and intend to limit your time clicking around the internet, after the jump is my list of the 15 Best Albums of 2010 and, as a kicker, my 10 Favorite Tracks of 2010:

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A consensus appears to be forming. According to three leading music publications (Rolling Stone, SPIN, and, ugh, Stereogum) Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is the best album of 2010. Additionally, it is a matter of when rather than if indie taste maker Pitchfork awards the same honor to West, given that Dark Fantasy received a perfect score of 10.0. Thus, with all the praise that is and will continue to be showered upon Dark Fantasy before and after the end of 2010, I believe it is worth evaluating the mass critical reaction in addition to the album. Much like the self-perpetuating nature of groupthink, the music news establishment is loosing its independence and creativity to general consensus.

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Mornin’ Playtonics,

I am thrilled to report that my first review for Prefix Magazine was posted today! For those of you who don’t know, I, under my plain ol’ name, am writing for the online music blog/ website Prefix Magazine. Prefix Magazine offers breaking news, reviews, and a host of other interesting music related content. So far I have written primarily news posts and occasionally album abstracts. However, today my first full length review was posted! Check out my review for Flying Lotus’ excellent new album Cosmogramma here.

SPOILER ALERT: My numeric rating is pretty close to an influential music website.

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