Steve Ellison, the experimental wizard of instrumental hip-hop (who occasionally moonlights as the rapper Captain Murphy) is back with his first FlyLo release since 2012's 'Until The Quiet Comes'. Ever popular with the world of music around him, 'You're Dead!' has a whole new roster of features and contributors to its name, including jazz-funk legend Herbie Handcock, Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar, to name a few. Of course, FlyLo will also be joined by Brainfeeder pal Thundercat.
- LP box set £43.99
- Sold out.
- Shipping cost: n/a
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- WARPLP256X / 180g vinyl 4LP special edition box set on Warp inc. instrumentals
- Includes download code
9/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 03 October 2014
Steve Ellison returns with his fifth outing under the FlyLo guise and finally, I'm sold. Other FlyLo outings have certainly pricked the ear and last years 'Duality' under the captain Murphy alter-ego absolutely owned but it's 'You're Dead' that's finally made me part with my hard earned greenbacks, and with good reason...it'a a fucked up beast of a record.
Free Jazz has finally consumed Ellison's production style (no surprise considering his lineage) with Thundercat being a even more essential ally in FlyLo's pursuit of the un-perusable and the unsustainable. The lines between hip-hop, jazz, funk, latin and fusion are blurred beyond all recognition, tracks blending effortlessly into one another, styles and techniques totally transcend the sum of their parts. On first listen I can't help but think about Miles Davis, Coltrane (both Alice and John), Tony Williams et el but by the fifth all I can think about is Prince at his creative peak. I'm thinking about the misunderstood majesty of 'Parade'. I'm thinking about pure sonic achievement.
So yeah, you're dead and this is the afterlife if you will, and at nineteen tracks, it's a utopia meant for losing yourself too. It's not that it's long (approx 45 mins) it's just real dense. The music feels fluid and loose, it's hard to believe any of this was made on the grid. Even the single ('Never Catch Me' ft. big dog Kendrick Lamar) is a test of the listeners skills right down to the cack-handed final break that sounds like it was added in a last minute pre-mix frenzy whilst surfing a particularly potent cherry-cola buzz. Captain Murphy/Snoop Dogg collab 'Dead Man's Tetris' mangles Russia's most recognised folk jam into something beyond Funkadelic. It's a furry mush of future funk that's so good even the increasingly senile Snoop fails to fuck it up. Apparently Herbie Hancock makes an appearance here somewhere too. Where is not made clear but you can hear his presence within every fucked up idea that slips from Ellison's increasingly versatile mind. Brings to mind the ever present Ron Carter on Tribes much celebrated, near perfect 'Low End Theory'.
There's a lot to take in here and I'm hearing something new with each listen but the one thought that keeps racing through my mind is "shit, 'You're Dead' even gives Madlib a run for his money". And that's a big deal statement coming from me.
FlyLib. For me. Please.
6/10 Dark Mart Customer review, 31st October 2014
I bought this record on the strength of reviews I'd read but for me the best thing about it was the amazing artwork on the sleeves and inserts.
I gave it a few listens but I found the length of the multitude of short tracks really frustrating it was more like an outpouring of ideas rather than an album so I sold it on Discogs not long after buying it.
To be honest I can't really say whether this is a good or bad album as it simply wasn't to my taste!
9/10 Penrith Steve Customer review, 10th October 2014
Hip-jazz, jazz-hop, whatever. This album is basically 25% hip-hop and 75% jazz. And it's fabulous. It is a fantastically sequenced LP which, I imagine, although relatively short, was intended to be split over four sides of vinyl. Each side is rather uneven in length (to "create a a convenient break in the programme" as 70s cassettes used to inform us), but this seems to enhance the mood and listening pleasure. This will appeal to fans of fusion-era Miles Davis arguably more than hip-hop fans, although "Obligatory Cadence" recalls the ambience of DJ Shadow's "Entroducing" to my ears. A truly modern album, music for the past, present and future. A timeless classic. An album I took a chance on, but have been playing it constantly and going on and on about it to friends. Well worth parting with hard earned cash for.
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