Terminator Tomb: Flying Lotus’ Breathtaking Video for “Coronus, The Terminator”

You’re Dead was almost Talmudic in its intentions. It aspired to merge rap and jazz and beat music, write requiems for the dead and resuscitate flat-lining souls. If you can criticize it,...
By    January 14, 2015

You’re Dead was almost Talmudic in its intentions. It aspired to merge rap and jazz and beat music, write requiems for the dead and resuscitate flat-lining souls. If you can criticize it, it’s via that Icarus curse of over-ambition. Sometimes, the fusion soared. Sometimes, it got soupy and overly ambient. Like many musicians who work with high concept (with all that entails), the experiments could sprawl too far. Sometimes, there’s a thin line between freeing jazz and the overly frenetic, what swings and what just skips.

When mood and music match, Flying Lotus can ascend to the same mythic peaks as his great-aunt, Alice Coltrane.That’s what happens on “Coronus, The Terminator.” For an album that sees dead people, you get goose bumps and hear the ancestral whispers. This song makes you feel like when your dog barks at the night at unseen phantoms. This video — with the powder dust mummy walks and the living looming over the corpse — channels the pop culture collective unconscious and the sepulchral memories of anyone who has seen a loved one pass. It’s personal but universal. The Terminator is the reaper, complete with the celebratory shuffles and somber clothes. This is one of the eeriest videos in memory. Oxygen for the eternally out of breath.

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