Until the Quiet Comes
Oct 02, 2012 Issue #42 - The Protest Issue
At this point, you should know what you're getting with a Flying Lotus album. After all, he's been on a ridiculous winning streak for the past few years-2008's Los Angeles introduced his unique electronic/hip-hop/DJ/funk/jazz hybrid to the masses, and then 2010's Cosmogramma solidified his spot on the majority of year-end lists. By now, you should know that you'll be getting 45 minutes to an hour of some of the best, most flowed, blissed-out, fusion music you can imagine.
And lo and behold, that's exactly what Until the Quiet Comes, FlyLo's fourth full-length, delivers. Steven Ellison (Flying Lotus' real name) has said in interviews he wants peoples' first experience with the album to be a single listen-through, and that desire shows. Each sound builds on its predecessor, and it's easy to let three or four tracks go by without realizing any of them had ended.
The only thing that really breaks the progression is the guest spots, most notably the ones by Erykah Badu and Thom Yorke. Badu lends her otherworld soul vocals to "See Thru to U," a drugged-out free jazz experiment filled with ringing cymbals and strolling bass lines. If the credits didn't prove Yorke's presence on the album, you might not recognize his distinctive voice-he sounds like an anonymous trip-hop vocalist, and the album benefits from the surprisingly cohesive nature of Yorke's appearance.
While it would normally be a criticism to describe someone's newest album as being similar to past efforts, that's not the case with Flying Lotus. The sonic space he specializes in creating is so unique and broad, it's probably not possible to overplay it. Every track and sound feels new and experimental; much of Until the Quiet is so wonderfully weird, there's no way for it to be boring. It's another wildly successful effort from one of hip-hop/jazz/electronica/DJ culture/indie music/[fill-in-the-genre-blank here]'s most creative stars.
Author rating: 7.5/10
Average reader rating: 8/10