I usually agree with Garfield: Mondays are awful, but this particular Monday, August 26th was not so bad. For two reasons. One, it was my birthday and two, I got to do one of my favourite things… taking in some live music! And even more so that the headliner is an artist I’ve heard good things about but have yet to see for myself, Flying Lotus.
While reading up on the acts for the evening, I realized all of them are under the Brainfeeder label which Flying Lotus started in 2007 as a radio show and quickly became a record label the following year. In 2010 they partnered with Ninja Tune to distribute and promote their catalogue worldwide.
The show was at the Corona Theatre and the evening started with Dj PBDY giving the growing audience a taste of what to expect. He started promptly at 7:30PM so I, unfortunately, only caught the last track or two. This was regrettable because I liked what I heard and plenty of others were already getting into it. When trying to describe the music (of all the acts of the evening) it’s not really fair or necessary to put them into any particular genre. The show, in general, was certainly in the realm of EDM but with many other elements and styles including hip-hop, soul, funk, jazz, and techno.
Set times were sharp and the second artist up was Salami Rose Joe Louis. She had an interesting set and I found it to be a bit of a slower tempo or more of a relaxed vibe. She played keys, synthesizer, and even a harmonica. Her voice reminded me a little of Elsiane of Montreal, fairly unique and it can be soft or sharp depending on the track. She has a new album coming out this week called Zdenka 2080 and its already up on her Bandcamp page. At the end of her set was a video tribute to record producer and DJ Ras G who was associated with Brainfeeder and passed away less than a month ago at the age of 40. I think it was thoughtful for them to pay tribute to a colleague its almost as if he’s touring with them one last time.
The show must go on as they say, and it did so with Brandon Coleman Spacewalker. This was a three-piece set with drums and keyboards backing him up. According to Coleman they started as a jam band but have clearly become something much deeper. They’re a prime example of “hybridity and innovation” if I may borrow a few words from their Bandcamp page. I found their set to be fun and you could hear elements of so many styles including but limited to jazz, disco, boogie, R&B, electro, soul and funk. The audience loved them and quite a few were clearly familiar with them as they were sporting similar brimmed hats which Coleman often wears and they were singing along.
After Brandon Coleman and company said goodnight, stagehands started to get things set up for Flying Lotus. From what I had heard, I thought we were going to see a busy stage with multiple musicians, quite the contrary though. The setup consisted of one large, steampunk looking DJ booth and a massive screen backdrop from which some intense 3D visuals… 3D glasses were provided. And if you’re seizure prone and you go to his show, perhaps consider being on the dancefloor and not staring at the screen. Again, it was a set full of genre-busting music, high energy and out of this world visuals. I, unfortunately, don’t have any tracks names to throw at you but do encourage you to check him out. Interesting side note: music runs in his family, his grandmother Marilyn McLeod was an accomplished singer/songwriter and he’s also the grand-nephew to powerhouse musician couple Alice and John Coltrane. By about 10:30PM he was wrapping up his set, and one of these last tracks sounded as though there were six different tracks playing at once but it all made sense and was fantastic to hear. Brandon Coleman, playing his keytar, joined him on stage for the last track which I believe was called “Do The Astral Plane.”
After which they said goodnight, the house light came on as the audience was still asking for more encore but they will just have to catch him next time he comes to town.
Written by Joey Beaudin
Photography by Marc-Antoine Morin
*edited by Danielle Kenedy