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He’s related to John Coltrane, he’s tight with Thom Yorke, so it’s fitting that L.A. hip-hop surrealist Steven Ellison is a restless experimenter with an ear for forlorn beauty. The shape-shifting tracks on his third disc incorporate braying dub-step beats, nature-film-soundtrack atmospherics, fern-bar R&B and free jazz, often on top of each other. There’s some info overload, but Ellison is an ace with pacing, and a distracted soulfulness guides the frantic laptop science. When Yorke emerges to moan, “I need to know you’re out there,” on “. . . And the World Laughs With You,” he offers what might be an epigram for the album.


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