Category: Fol Chen

Erykah Badu and Flying Lotus play surprise DJ sets at Low End Theory

You could tell from the trail of the tweets. All week long, Flying Lotus had been sporadically updating his 50,000+ plus followers on his recording sessions with the reigning queen of psychedelic soul, Erykah Badu.

“Day 3 on the album with @fatbellybella. I'm starting early today. So far it's sounding pretty amazing. I’m enjoying hearing our universes expand….Producer and artist working in the same studio together! None of this emailing.”

His fellow collaborator, the self-proclaimed “Analog Girl in the Digital World,” was more cryptic but no less effusive: “I’m in music heaven.”

So when Lotus coyly opined, “I have a feeling Low End Theory will be trending again tonight,” the house money had Ms. On and On flocking to the house that Beats built.

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Live review: Fol Chen and Baths at the Echo

If Prince had decided to take up esoteric mathematics instead of sex-god funk, that career might be  something Fol Chen could get behind. The Highland Park band's screwball pastiche pop sounds like an algebra problem but feels like a come-on. At Tuesday night's release party for Fol Chen's second album, "Part II: The New December" (which, admittedly, should have taken by Coheed and Cambria), the band pulled the neat trick of making its two impulses -- danceable pop immediacy and its need to run every song through a paper shredder -- feel unexpectedly simpatico.

For an act that goes by aliases, riffs on Nabokov's penchant for misdirection and refuses to show its members' faces in photos, Fol Chen really is a singles band. Members had a humdinger in the jaunty, deadpan "Cable TV" from their debut, "Part 1: John Shade, Your Fortune's Made." They have another one, "In Ruins," from this record that should be enough to carry them nationally. It starts with a junk-shop Arabesque synth riff, dragging fuzz bass and one of the creepiest pickup lines in recent rock: "You look good by siren light." But the end result has a sort of jerky, bloodless R&B simmer that's unexpectedly entrancing. 

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