Fatima Al Qadiri’s recent EP Genre-Specific Xperience, released originally under a pseudonym, brings an eclectic taste the table. Mixing cultural sounds as broad as Islamic chants, Catholic hymns, and steelpans, this relatively short album leaves you both entranced and frightened. The eerie mix of the ever-present electric steel drums and elevated chants imagines a horror film set at a tropical resort. The head track “Hip Hop Spa” especially recalls some sort of religious evocation that the next track answers with a high-tempo percussion hurricane. Don’t miss out on “Vatican Vibes” or “Corpcore,” the former bringing Baroque-style firmly into Al Qadiri’s art while the latter’s pulsing march of beats invokes industrial beats. For those new to Fatima Al Qadiri, she’s an electronic musician (read: DJ) currently living in Brooklyn, originally born in Senegal, and grew up in Kuwait during the Gulf War. Her work across constantly recognizes her trans-cultural history, as her album last year Asiatisch worked off themes of “the China” viewed from a Western lens through pop culture and the ways these cultural forms are exploited until they lose all meaning. Her political meaning behinds Xperience seems less obvious, but listeners won’t be disappointed if they pick either album up.
by Aurora Wetherill, of LightsOn w/ Aurora, Thursdays@10pm.
I have seen Flying Lotus, a.k.a. 31 year old Steven Ellison, perform live three times now. Everytime, he changes my life. This is not an exaggeration.
The venue is kind of weird; I’d never been to the Tower Theater before. It’s enormous, complete with two floors and rows on rows of some kind of semi-permanent folding theater chairs that you could disrupt irreparably with a misplaced step. The chairs ended up going largely unused once FlyLo came on, but provided a safe place to retreat to if an audience member got (understandably) overwhelmed.
Thundercat opened the show, wearing a big wolf pelt on his head playing a 6 string electric bass, putting on an incredible jam with one of the best synth/keyboard players I’ve ever seen. Thundercat is always spectacular, and a supreme warm up for what’s coming.
A FlyLo performance is neither all music or all show. He stands in between two screens, one in front of him, and one behind him. His visual team constructs the most impossibly mind-bending, beautiful displays and projects them through him. I have seen this particular performance twice. His most recent show incorporates a new element; the front screen is now cubically shaped, allowing for intimidating visuals centered on a spinal meridian in the middle of the stage. Most of the visuals were new, like in Sultan’s Request where the new front screen projected a lightning box around Mr. Lotus on each heavy beat. The visuals for Getting There (ft. Niki Randa) were the same as the last two sets, but they are incredible so there were no complaints. Galaxy In Jakobi, towards the end of the show, served to show the audience that Mr. Lotus is their God. No one took issue.
Unfortunately, neither Mr. Lotus nor Thundercat came out after the show, although not for lack of throngs waiting for them.
by Aurora Wetherill of LightsOn w/ Aurora, Thursdays@1opm.
Flying Lotus’ new album You’re Dead is at once more raw and more refined than any of his previous albums. Each note is poignant, deliberate, and clear as glass. His track with Snoop Dogg is a little grating, but it seems intentional; Snoop’s lyrics discuss possibilities for why your body crapped out on you to an 8-bit beat. You’re Dead also has a good deal more instrumental variation than its precursors, such as the distorted guitar and jingle bells featured in “Turkey Dog Coma”. The Japanese psychedelic artist, Shintaro Kago, created a unique set of works to accompany You’re Dead, and each song’s artwork lends contextual insight and a note of black humor. The artwork for Siren Song consists of a shapely woman opening her mouth and tying up her hair, while her bottom half unravels; Turtles’ artwork features a dying woman taking a selfie. Flying Lotus says something new in each of his albums, and each album features a different theme. Cosmogramma (2010) was a cosmic dance adventure, Until The Quiet Comes (2012) was a celestial emotional voyage, and You’re Dead feels like an embrace of and meditation on the void that his previous albums only sometimes acknowledge. There is life in death and there is death in life. You’re Dead is dark, irregular, and probably perfect. Flying Lotus will be performing at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pensylvania, on October 14th.
Interested in becoming a DJ this semester at WDCV? Come to Tome 115 at 7 pm on September 3 or September 4 to learn more about how to get your own show. You only have to attend one session but if you have a co-host make sure both of you attend at least one night. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.