It was a pretty chill Tuesday evening as the sun set on Los Angeles, a lively group lined the outer perimeter of the Mack Sennett Studio, chatting about the day and days to come, excited about the YOU’RE DEAD! release about to take place. Many of us did not know what to expect from this party; a few others and I went to the Little Dragon TumblrIRL event in May, but had not gotten the chance to make it in the door. We speculated but nothing could have braced us for the rapture that was to come.
The gates here welcomed us — entering the smoky, haunted halls, greeted by a smiling Michael Jackson, we crossed over. A looming death eater (a hooded and masked Flying Lotus) walked in our midsts, roaming back and forth to guide us, introducing us to purgatory. Lights flashed and cracked like lightning, the bass like thunder. On a highlighted, red screen projected shadowed beings, our spirits, as we continued on the journey to our final resting place.
DJ PBDY (P-Body) started the ceremonious evening off with bangers that rattled your brain loose from your noggin. My neck still hurts from nodding so hard. Monster beats shook and swayed corpses free of flesh to reveal rattling skeletons. Serenading us like a dear friend reading our eulogy, the string quartet raised and praised our souls. The heights the soprano violin held you at, made you feel suspended in the air. Just there.
The spiritual dance was not over. Thundercat then riffed and wailed with his jazz ensemble, launching us to different dimensions with heavenly solos.
As for FL’s album itself, it’s hard to captivate its entirety into words. It bangs, it throbs, it rocks, it rolls, and it especially soars. Jazzy undertones match obliterating kicks of bass to make an eclectic conundrum of curtained sounds.
The sincerely special thing I observed was that every artist became a part of the audience when their set was over. Flying Lotus himself walked over to the watch Thundercat’s set just after announcing them a few minutes earlier, I made my way in behind DJ PBDY; everyone was there to enjoy the art.
What do you think the afterlife is like? This is the imagined concept of Lotus’ album, from his idea of what it would be like after this realm is no longer in need of us. When you can lose track of time and get lost in every rise, fall, hit, and drop of the music that’s when you know you have truly made a masterful piece of work, a feat Flying Lotus can say he has done. Paradise awaits, get it here.
Thank you Flying Lotus, Thundercat, and the whole crew, and TumblrIRL for putting on such a spectacular event, truly a once in a lifetime production.