This one is exciting! Had the honor of interviewing the brilliantly talented Flying Lotus. He recently scored Yasuke, an upcoming original animation series created by LeSean Thomas and animated by Japanese animation studio MAPPA. The series premieres April 29th on Netflix. (i.e. tomorrow!)
Without further ado, Flying Lotus...
Synth History: What are some of your favorite go-to synthesizers?
Flying Lotus: This is a tough one because I like to think that all my synths are my go-tos, but, my essentials are The Prophet 6 and Yamaha CS-60/Deckard's Dream.
I feel like between those synths I can cover so much ground. The P6 is probably the most versatile and approachable modern analog synth and the CS just has a sound, I don’t know how to describe it, but that Yamaha range/Deckard's (because they cloned it well) just has a strange analog sound, and playing the 60 feels like you are controlling the elements of the universe with your fingertips. It's super powerful. Honorable mentions are the Moog One and Ob-6.
Synth History: What is inspiring you at this current moment?
Flying Lotus: Inspiring me right now? hmm I’ve been getting really deep into Serato DJ, I never really messed with it too much and I had only been using Ableton to do my live sets. Serato is a lot of fun because it’s way more immediate and I can see myself enjoying playing sets and making mixes way more with It… late pass? Also Listening to dirty house music a lot. Part of me is really missing dancing late night.
Synth History: Do you remember the first song you ever made, what was it like?
Flying Lotus: Oh the first.. it must have been when I was 15. I actually loaded up some old beats I made then, and yeah, it was trash, but you know, not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I had a natural sense of harmony and chords even back then, kinda cool to see. Drum programming though... needed some work.
Synth History: Who / what were your biggest influences growing up?
Flying Lotus: Growing up I have to say my family was a huge influence. I grew up with lots of musicians around, lots of keyboards, tape recorders and drum machines everywhere. My grandmother used to make beats on a Roland 606 drum machine. I'm pretty sure that played a part in everything. But musically it was probably when I heard Dr. Dre and hearing all the melodic hip hop coming from LA in the 90s.
Synth History: Do you have one tip for maintaining creativity in the studio?
Flying Lotus: Switch up the BPMs. Try and take on different genres and most importantly HAVE FUN. Stop being so serious over there and make some silly shit.
References: Synth History Exclusive, photo by Angela So.