Flying Lotus: 30 Years of Warp


Flying Lotus was born to be on Warp. Real name Steven Ellison, the great-nephew of jazz greats John and Alice Coltrane has been making surreal, wildly experimental beats since he bought his first Roland MC-505 Groovebox at the age of 15. He released one album (‘1983’, named for the year of his birth) on indie label Plug Research in 2006 before fulfilling his destiny to sign with Warp the following year. Since then he’s put out five albums with the label, starting with the textured soundscapes of 2008’s ‘Los Angeles’ (named for the place of his birth). Follow-ups ‘Cosmogramma’ (2010), ‘Until The Quiet Comes’ (2012), ‘You’re Dead’ (2014) and ‘Flamagra’ (2019) have established him as one of the world’s most inventive beatmakers, able to integrate elements of prog, jazz, hip hop, r’n’b and club music into one dizzying whole. In 2016 he made his feature film debut, directing the body horror comedy Kuso, while in his live performances he’s pioneered the use of 3D visuals, creating shows which are, like his music, truly psychedelic and constantly evolving.

Cover story for Mixmag, January 2020. Continue reading.