New Label From Electronic/Hip-Hop Hybrid Flying Lotus
With a best-selling, groundbreaking album in Los Angeles, what will hip-hop/electronic hybridist Flying Lotus do for an encore? Start a new label called Brainfeeder.
“We''re going to start putting out a bunch of beat records this year, more avant-garde left-field beat music that some friends of mine are working on,” FlyLo says. “It''s a labor of love. I''m not trying to take any money from it. I just want to put [any profits] into the label, put it into the artists'' pockets, and just try to build a nice little home for my extended family.” Brainfeeder officially launched last summer with the debut CD from Samiyam, an 8-bit specialist that Flying Lotus discovered via the Internet. (The two collaborate on beats as FlyAmSam.) Samiyam was already selling copies of Rap Beats Vol. 1 as a CD-R, but Flying Lotus made it available digitally via Brainfeeder and Alpha Pup Distribution.
Many details behind the Brainfeeder project are still unknown. FlyLo says, “We''re just looking at digital right now,” but he isn''t sure if he''ll continue to use Alpha Pup for distribution. He believes the next release will be an album from L.A. record store owner and dubby beatmaker Ras G called Brother From Another Planet. He quickly clarifies, however, “The way that I want to work this is, like, I don''t want to just do beat stuff.”
Other artists with Brainfeeder potential include Matthew David, an ambient-folk musician whom FlyLo sampled on Los Angeles; and Rebekah Raff, an L.A.-based harpist who performed with Kanye West on his 2005 Touch the Sky tour, and who has done session work for The Coup and Mavis Staples. “She makes ambient music. I want to release that,” he says of Raff.
For the moment, though, Brainfeeder''s best product may be its ability to draw attention to a slew of new and exciting electronic artists. Three recent Brainfeeder showcases in London, Los Angeles and San Francisco drew sell-out crowds. The latter, held in a side room at the venerable 1015 Folsom club, found a teeming audience cheering on Kutmah, Samiyam, Ras G, the Gaslamp Killer, Hudson Mohawke, Kode 9, Daedelus and, of course, Flying Lotus.
*Pictured at right: Flying Lotus. Photo by Timothy Saccenti.