After a five year break between releases, during which he released a polarising feature film, Flying Lotus (real name Stephen Ellison) finally reacquainted himself to fans with the album Flamagra. Ever one to place visuals central to the musical experience, he has returned to Aussie shores with a new 3D live show.
UK/Aussie Warp Records label-mate Mark Pritchard began the night with a set of dub-tinged future beat, with accompanying visuals provided by Jonathan Zawada from their project The Four Worlds.
3D is not a new frontier for Flying Lotus. He has presented 3D touring shows for a number of years now. With the height of the 3D revival of the late noughties over, Stephen Ellison has stuck with the platform, in the process proving it’s more than just a zeitgeisty gimmick.
Opening with a short vignette featuring David Lynch’s head popping out of a cats mouth to perform their Flamagra cut “Fire is Coming”, the show only spirals further into chaos from there. Both visually and sonically. Playing in a long black wizard-like cape, Ellsion pushes Afrofuturism to its natural psychedelic conclusion. The set and visuals are equally frenetic and highly stylized, intentionally locking your full attention like a powerful acid trip.
As the dust settled and encores were called, Ellison thanked the crowd, seemingly genuine in his excitement to be back in the country after such a long hiatus. Playing some more of his ‘danceable’ cuts – including “Astral Plane” and “More” – he called on the crowd to start a circle pit before letting us go from his grip.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Flamagra is available now via Inertia/Warp. The Flying Lotus tour has now concluded. The reviewer attended the Sydney show at The Enmore Theatre on January 24th.