Flying Lotus brings noise with new stellar album Until The Quiet Comes
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 00:10
For those unfamiliar with Steven Ellison, a.k.a Flying Lotus, let this album serve as a proper introduction.
The album, Until The Quiet Comes (UTQC), released Oct. 2, is a sprawling, exotic adventure unlike anything you will hear in 2012. Riddled with a perfect blend of jazz and hip hop influences, influences every longtime fan of FlyLo should recognize, this album puts the listener in a trance from the start.
The first two tracks, “All In” and “Getting There,” are arguably the best one-two punch in music this year. Nothing has captured my attention more, or flowed through my ears so beautifully quite like the beginning of this record. And apart from Flying Lotus himself, I have Niki Randa and her heavenly vocals to thank for that.
Besides Randa, who is featured on “All In” “Getting There” and “Hunger," FlyLo enlists other longtime collaborators Laura Darlington and Brainfeeder label mate, Thundercat, who provides some smooth vocals and scintillating bass on “DMT Song.” From there, the album weaves itself into the most raucous track on the album, “The Nightcaller.” Darlington and her spectacular voice are featured on the hauntingly calm track, “Phantasm.” Erykah Badu also adds some assistance on the wildly percussive “See Thru To U.” Radiohead front-man Thom Yorke makes an appearance as well in “Electric Candyman.” Of all the tracks on the album, it’s apparent why Yorke chose to be on this one. He’ll jump at any chance he gets to creep listeners out with his slow-as-molasses singing/talking. He did his job. It’s off-putting and I get the creeps listening to it, yet it fits in perfectly with the rest of the 18 tracks on this sensational body of music.
The title track is a Flying Lotus classic – a steady flow of claps precedes various shakers and synths that welcome a smoothly undulating bassline. “Until The Quiet Comes” is not only my favorite song on the record but it is perfect embodiment of the album’s refreshing sound. “The Nightcaller” is the most raucous track on UTQC and serves as a brilliant contrast to the rest of the album. It serves as a brilliant contrast to the rest of the album and will most likely have you dancing like a drunken idiot. And that’s a good thing. If the quirky melody of “Putty Boy Strut” doesn’t have you clapping along within the first 20 seconds, it will by the end. You won’t be able to stop your head from swaying back and forth.
UTQC isn’t as dark or as thought provoking as FlyLo’s previous release, Cosmogramma, but what it lacks in mental stimulation it more than makes up for with the featured vocalists and the cohesive sounding flow.
UTQC is my favorite album of the year and plays like one big glitchy, sultry, epic percussive dream. It’s an out of body experience. Every song plays its own role in the dream. We fall into the dream at “All In” and we wake up with the slow, synth riddled final track, “Dream To Me.” There are no bad songs on this album. It’s a puzzle with no missing pieces.