Flying Lotus, "Cosmogramma"

4.5

Flying Lotus' third album, "Cosmogramma," is a strangely cohesive amalgam of exotic sounds. On the new set, the follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2008 album "Los Angeles," the underground California beat-head balances the futuristic sounds of warbling synths and the natural purr of a live harp. Flying Lotus' appeal lies in his ability to seamlessly combine disparate sounds. Starting with a dance-worthy bass and hand clap before launching into a soaring Eastern melody backed by the buzz of a synthesizer, "Do the Astral Plane" is the closest song on the album to a radio single. Meanwhile, "Arkestry" drops the heavy rhythms for a track with free jazz sensibilities; "MmmHmm" is a lullaby set to the chatter of cutlery; and "Table Tennis" uses a bouncing ping-pong ball for percussion and includes the ghostly singing of frequent collaborator Laura Darlington. "Cosmogramma" may evade complete comprehension, but Flying Lotus' foreign and colorful arrangements entice even the most casual listener. --Evan J. Nabavian