The great beyond themes Flying Lotus’s magnificent sixth album, which rises from the scattershot plane of the LA beat-making scene and focuses FlyLo’s unmatched sound-collage skills into a major, and quite moving, contemplation of what comes after life. An immediate standout is “Never Catch Me,” with vibrant lyrics by Kendrick Lamar and a stunning video themed on funerals, resurrection, and the irrepressible play of the spirits in liminal space. But the whole blessed suite of 19 short tracks swells and ebbs with the anxiety, turbulence, and surrender of transition. FlyLo calls on regular acolytes — Thundercat, Niki Randa — and mourns others who left too soon, deploying his rap alter-ego Captain Murphy in “The Boys Who Died in Their Sleep.” An electronic second-line parade, “You’re Dead!” brims with jazz’s spirit and craft, with post-bop samples, cool piano loops, and Herbie Hancock himself on keys on two tracks. Less glitchy and bass-led than FlyLo’s previous work, it enters him in the canon of mystics and psychedelic journeyers who’ve sought to crack the doors of perception. (Out Tuesday)
Essential “Coronus, the Terminator”Siddhartha Mitter can be reached at email@example.com.