I personally have always had higher expectations for electronic music. As a “musician,” I’ve always been intimidated by the toolsets involved, as when faced with the ability to create ANY SOUND, my mind just shuts down. So when it came to decide the best electronic album of the year, my mind was torn. Our discussion of the topic spread between sound collage (The Books, and to a lesser extent Girl Talk), emotionally charged dance music (Baths and Caribou), and whatever the hell Down There was.
NOTHING touched Cosmogramma. Our debate was basically trying to justify not giving it to Cosmogramma, and none of the arguments stuck. In a strange way, it reminds me of Kid A- that discussion of Kid A as a fore bearer to the decade ahead while based so heavily in a melted down purity of the preceding decade. To me, Cosmogramma is the Internet-American decade, an exploration of the sound and fury of shut-ins reaching shut-ins, the alienation of new socialization, and all the trite images of the man and the machine becoming one freshened by Flying Lotus’ sheer excitement for being alive today. The Cosmic Drama the album meditates on discusses is technology, it’s dominion over human life and the argument itself instead of an actual decision. This is all cloaked beneath the trappings of something quaint like trip-hop, but the vitality of the ideas and the life outlined is contagiously rhythmic and hopeful. Flying Lotus parlayed his beatmaking prowess into something wildly expressive and important.