You’re Dead! (Warp)

Flying Lotus

Released October 2014

The Guardian Highest Rated Jazz Albums of All Time

Grammy Nominee for Best Dance Recording 2015




You’re Dead! sees producer Steven Ellison taking us on a transcendental voyage into the afterlife. A wholly immersive, psychedelic journey, it’s a virtuoso performance from one of the decade’s most talented and inventive artists.

The album features contributions from (in order of appearance) Herbie Hancock, Kendrick Lamar, Captain Murphy, Snoop Dogg, Angel Deradoorian, Thundercat and Niki Randa. Original artwork by Japanese comic book artist Shintaro Kago

“The album isn’t about the end, it’s really the beginning. It’s a celebration of the next experience. It’s the transition and the confusion.  It’s not ‘hey you’re dead.’ It’s ‘hey you’re dead!’”

Track Listing:

1. Theme (Steven Ellison) 1:24

2. Tesla (Stephen Bruner / Steven Ellison / Herbie Hancock) 1:54

3. Cold Dead (Stephen Bruner / Steven Ellison / Kamasi Washington) 1:34

4. Fkn Dead (Stephen Bruner / Steven Ellison) 0:40

5. Never Catch Me (Steven Ellison) 3:54

6. Dead Man’s Tetris (Snoop Dogg / Steven Ellison) 2:25

7. Turkey Dog Coma (Stephen Bruner / Steven Ellison) 3:09

8. Stirring (Steven Ellison / Jeff Lynn) 0:30

9. Coronus, The Terminator (Steven Ellison / Niki Randa) 2:40

10. Siren Song (Angel Deradoorian / Steven Ellison) 2:37

11. Turtles (Stephen Bruner / Steven Ellison / Ennio Morricone) 2:06

12. Ready Err Not (Steven Ellison) 1:45

13. Eyes Above (Steven Ellison) 1:12

14. Moment of Hesitation (Steven Ellison / Kamasi Washington) 2:18

15. Descent Into Madness (Stephen Bruner / Steven Ellison) 1:27

16. The Boys Who Died in Their Sleep (Steven Ellison) 1:50

17. Obligatory Cadence (Steven Ellison / C. Staker) 2:56

18. Your Potential/The Beyond (Steven Ellison / Niki Randa) 1:45

19. The Protest (Steven Ellison) 1:58


Flying Lotus: keyboards (1-9, 16, 19), synthesizer (6), percussion (4, 15), backing vocals (1, 3-5, 17, 18), samples (1-3), vocals (6, 9, 15, 19)

Captain Murphy: vocals (16)

Kendrick Lamar: vocals (5)

Snoop Dogg: vocals (6)

Thundercat: vocals (15), bass (1-13, 15-19), guitar (4), backing vocals (5, 7, 17)

Niki Randa: backing vocals (1, 10, 17), percussion (7), vocals

Herbie Hancock: keyboards (2, 14)

Deantoni Parks: drums (1, 5, 9, 10, 13, 19)

Kamasi Washington: keyboards (1), saxophone (1, 3, 7, 14)

Andres Renteria: percussion (1, 4, 7, 10, 14)

Gene Coye: drums (2, 4, 14)

Ronald Bruner Jr.: drums (3)

Brandon Coleman: keyboards (3, 4, 7, 10, 11)

Justin Brown: drums (7)

Brendon Small: guitar (7, 10)

Miguel Atwood-Ferguson: strings (7,15, 19)

Jeff Lynne: guitar (8)

Angel Deradoorian: vocals (10), backing vocals (17)

Arlene Deradoorian: backing vocals (10, 17)

Laura Darlington: flute (15), vocals (19)

Taylor Cannizzaro: strings (18)

Taylor Greaves: keyboards (19)

Kimbra Johnson: vocals (19)

Recorded from 2012 to 2014, at Steven Ellison’s home, in Los Angeles

Produced by Steven Ellison

Assistant Engineer: Martin Cooke and Nicolas Fournier

Mixing: Rich Costey

Mixing Assistant: Mario Borgatta


For an album with a threat for a title (or maybe it’s just a metaphysical observation), You’re Dead is surprisingly upbeat. Flying Lotus (real name Stephen Ellison), the musical polymath who flits so lightly between jazz, electronica, hip-hop and funk as to render the boundaries indeterminable, has cast his net even wider on his fifth album, taking in influences from eastern religions, too. On his last record, Until the Quiet Comes, a concentration on the low end turned a stew of styles into a murky slop. Here the g-funk bass still squelches, but it’s paired with bells, cymbals, birdsong and flighty guitar lines that keep spirits high and eyes wide. There are guest appearances by regular FlyLo collaborators including bassist Thundercat, but also A-list rappers in Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar (whose tendency to flit from hardcore spitting to sing-song delivery makes for a suitable companion style). There’s always been a sense that Ellison was stretching for a new musical vernacular, one that would continue the lineage of free jazz (he is the great-nephew of Alice Coltrane). This album suggests he might have found it. As each song merges into the next, as one style succeeds another, the sensation is that of being in a dream. Which may well be what death is like – who knows?

Paul MacInnes (The Guardian)