Flying Lotus & The Search For Deeper Meaning In Music

Goodie Bag caught up with producer Flying Lotus at Chicago’s North Coast Music Festifval as he spoke about upcoming projects, the influence of John and Alice Coltrane, and searching for deeper meaning in music.

I feel like maybe it was just something that was instilled in me as a child. Ya know, to search for something deeper in music.

Notes for equipment junkies:

Flying Lotus is performing with an Akai MPD32 controller.

280 thoughts on “Flying Lotus & The Search For Deeper Meaning In Music”

  1. …and it looked like Abelton Live?? I’m gonna go ahead and continue to turn a blind eye to that program cause I dropped some serious cash on my Maschine but it seems like tons of people really like that program for live performances…

    • Ableton Live and Pads….all day baby!
      I love it for live performances and practices. You can load as big a set as you want. I just load up my catalog of beats that I know will move the crowd, and go in like a DJ. I’ve chopped up a few mp3 samples live at a show. Unstoppable work progress, plus the way you can export each sound as an individual sample, call it whatever you want (i.e. “nas snare”, “herb albert snare” ) and make your own folders on the fly. PEACE

  2. i rather listen to dilla’s kids than some wack ass radio. @deedee shut the fuck up and stop hating. i dont never hear anybody downplaying kobe or lebron for trying to be mike. he didnt steal his style. he was influenced plus his sound is unique. i bet your bitch cant make better beats so quit.

      • Ok, I agree it may be a bold statement but he is one of the few artists in this world filled with lil waynes and Justin Bieber that are real and discovering new ways to pleausure your ears, if you look at his backcatologue, all you will see is progress in new and different directions. Some stuff may be done before ( I used to compare him to jazzanova for instance) but he gives it a new twist and makes it his own. The creativity displayed and mastered is what makes him one of the last musiscans in my book. This world is full of, plain and simply, shit music made by people with no interest to go over the boundries.

        I dare to put him next to Miles Davis now.

        • ahahahahahahahah you have no idea what your talking about throw your book away MILES DAVIS really REALLY . . . your talking about a guy who does sample based production and comparing him to MILES DAVIS. Hes great and if you get to see him live go for it but you might want to learn how to read music first and how to play a instrument based on chord and chord progression while keeping everything in key and on time and in rhytmn and do it at every show. He didnt take anything from anyone except his immagination and did i mention miles davis didnt have pt or albeteon live etc he actually had to play the music. You guys can get as mad ay you want but hitting a pad and triggering a sample you recorded is not playing music in a classical sense. Thelonious monk and miles are the guys people sample. Recording them into a sapmler does not put you on any level with them especially when you chop it like dila who did it 15 years ago.

          • but you have to understand that it’s a different time, back then that was jazz, but what fly lo does now and his innovation in his field of music (hip hop, electronic whatever you want to call it) is very similar to what miles and thelonious monk did their genre. also, he is definitely not a totally sample based musician, he has a lot of instruments on his records, live stuff, synths and found sounds. i never comment on this stuff but it just seems so outlandish to call flying lotus a biter when everyone is biting him now.

          • the swing and execution of miles davis and monk are so far from somebody playing music on a laptop (i.e. triggering sounds) i dont even know where to start. Even being aroud session players who are amazing and can sight read sheet music still dont hold candles to miles. Fck it being a diffrent time picking up and instrument and playing it in the era where he has and and got the sound he did and the saying it was “innovative” is absurdly missing the point. I know for a fact if you said to lotus hey your as innovative as miles davis hed slap the taste out of somebodys mouth.

          • Your right! As much as I used to love hip hop. It actually isnt real music, its a bunch of edits. Still it sounds good.

          • Thats true as far as chord and chord progression go, but I truly believe that triggering pads and sampling others is still a good way to understand how music is constructed in the classical sense. Furthermore if you know anything about miles davis you would know that bitches brew one Mile’s greatest albulms is just the opposite of what your talking about, it was an albulm dedicated not using classic constructs of chords and chord progressions.

  3. That was a bit hateful on the comment. Sorry I go by oldschool rules mane. I forget the mindstate these days its no longer biting. Its “being influenced”….

  4. Pfff he didnt find that deeper meaning yet i guess. He is still (cough) ” under the influence” of you know who. He will get there…don’t worry. In the meanwhile don’t hail him “God”or one of the last musicians out. He is none of that!

    • And what are you exactly? All I see is a musican pushing boundrys who was on this whole off beat tip before you all woke up and realised Dilla is death. I guess in your eyes no one can miss a beat now because their instantly biting Dilla.

      Grow up and enjoy life.

  5. all this “under the influence” business is ridiculous, flying lotus’ early beat tapes had some recognizable similarities to dilla in the feel of his drums and the way he uses his samples but once he got to that stage of making crazy synth/sample arrangements using a lot of found sounds for drums and atmospheric noises (sound design type stuff for films), he became his own monster. Flylo took the more IDM route it seems and has found a really deep meaning in his music he makes operatic INSTRUMENTAL arrangements for the modern day. I think this dilla comparison should have been thrown out after his “Los Angeles.” “Zodiac Shit” sounds like FLY LO that a lot of people now (at least where i live in LA) are trying to emulate, he’s definitely not a biter.

    • Amen bro. Well said. If anything he is the one being bitten. Cosmogramma does not even sound the least bit like dilla.

  6. a lot of Fly Lo tracks I don’t really get what’s going on, some of them I really dig, but I always am interested to see/here what he does next – dude’s approach to production and philosophy on music is cool

    funny that dude mentioned Miles Davis cause his aunt was Alice Coltrane

    btw, I bite or get influenced or whatever you want to call it from everything I hear – movies, radio clips, even random sounds on the streets – can’t help it –

    even on the bass, I’ve looked up old songs on the internet to learn them, mess with them for a while and then flipped them my own way – if that’s not biting, I don’t know what is, but if you think for a minute that people haven’t been doing that since music has been invented then your tripping – I can’t even begin to tell you how many techniques I’ve learned that way

    “Immature artists imitate. Mature artists steal.” – Lionel Trilling

    – have fun arguing –

  7. @deedee to me, biting is a false term used for someone whose been influenced. cause if it isnt, that means every musician should stop making music because theyre gonna bite. regardless if youre sampling or playing.

    • Theres nothing new under the sun. You still got to draw a line. Youre selling yourself short from the creative energy life has.

  8. Most of you are probably too young to know what it it was like growing up in the 70’s and 80’s and what happened in the early 90’s. We used terms like fresh. Our whole point back than was to be original and fresh.

    Listen to that first beat on the video. DAMNNN homie. That aint a bite?

  9. And I been hearing about Flying Lotus. Was never impressed. All he did was STEAL, BITE, OR new term “influnced” by what was going on. J-Dilla, PPP, 8 bit arcade beats. Dude got something. He just got props before coming into his own stye. Which is one of the reasons Hip Hop is dying.

  10. “Immature artists imitate. Mature artists steal.” – Lionel Trilling

    I prefer albert einsteins OPINION “true genius is not telling where you got it from”

    You guys forget its better to draw inspiration from things not even in the same playing field. For example the Kobe shoe was inspired from a car.

  11. Deedee ur post dont come across like their from a relaxed mature person, more some one who has some chip on his shoulder of not making it in this industry. Must suck to life with so much hate inside ur soul.

    • JU DON NO ME MANE. This is simply a thread post. Why do people try to make it more than it is? Downplay my credit? You forget, before the era of the term “hater” it was called an opinion. Before it was called “influenced” it was called BITING. I SHOWED AND PROVED WHY I HAVE AN OPINION ON HIM BITING. OLD SCHOOL RULES…

  12. man flylo is a really good arranger and miles davis was aswell, they just know how to sound “cool”, and flying lotus has been validated by some of the most talented musicians today ie miguel atwood furgeson and chris dave, but flying lotus is really freaked out as hes explained in interviews about “biters”, i mean i can imagine if you have a billion kids and geezers who hear your record and bam are like “hear my track that i made!” thats like verbatim wonky bleep town rip off, but chk it people like mike slott are doing a similar thing to flyo but flying lotus is a fan of his. hes got the same tools but doesnt sound the same b/c hes trying to be his own person. abelton or no flying lotus would still make music and people are always going to compare everything! just enjoy the tunes b/c they really do melt yr face and all sound is equal from mozart to autotune, yea its a leap but its a miracle any of this is happening or has in the past.

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