Not many individuals can claim to have composed music for a Netflix show, collaborated with renowned artists like Kendrick Lamar, Thom Yorke, and Herbie Hancock, established a highly acclaimed electronic record label, received a Grammy award, and is currently directing a science fiction movie in Hollywood. Flying Lotus has accomplished all of these feats, and despite his recent focus on filmmaking, this one-time performance proves that he still has a knack for getting people on their feet.
Flying Lotus’ most beloved songs, such as his collaboration with Kendrick Lamar “Never Catch Me,” the 2010 track “Zodiac Shit,” and “Black Gold” and “Pain and Blood” from the animated series Yasuke, receive enthusiastic cheers from the audience, who sing along in unison. However, it is when Lotus feels comfortable to explore and try new things that he is most content.
During the middle of the performance, he lowers the volume to address the audience, stating “if I’m not having fun, then you’re not having fun”, and then transitioning into an energetic and provocative live DJ mix. The glitchy and percussion-driven track “5.23.19” by Mono/Poly from Brainfeeder immediately gets the crowd moving; the previously still bodies with only bobbing heads now become a surge of bent knees and swaying arms, trying to keep up with the booming 808 basslines. Shortly after, the audience is treated to Waajeed’s “Power in Numbers” – a funky house tune that brings smiles and gets people’s blood pumping.
At times, his experimentation with multiple genres may seem overly ambitious and rushed. He tends to move on quickly from one element, such as a looped breakbeat, bassline, vocal, or synth-heavy track, without giving the audience enough time to get into the groove. However, his displays of skill and versatility consistently leave the audience in awe – with audible “wows” and expressions of amazement when the beat drops. This showcases Flying Lotus’s exceptional musicianship. He creates a euphoric atmosphere in the heart of the city, transporting London’s 9-5 workers out of their ordinary routines and into a glitchy cyberpunk world.