2012’s ‘Until The Quiet Comes’, the fourth studio LP from Flying Lotus, represents a hugely important step in the producer-composer’s career. While previous FlyLo releases had touched on jazz - both earthly and spiritual - these influences had largely been incorporated to serve the producer’s ultra-whacked brand of hip-hop and neo-IDM. However, on ‘Until The Quiet Comes’ we find the one born Steven Ellison creating notably lusher work that draws heavily on the sounds of Alice Coltrane and Sun Ra. Synths and beats still play a part, but the way that Ellison prioritises harmony and reverie here paved the way not only for subsequent FlyLo triumphs like ‘You’re Dead!’ but also the great records we’d get from The Comet Is Coming and Floating Points later in the decade. Thundercat, Jonny Greenwood and Thom Yorke contribute.
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You know - so many things go on these days that I somehow missed Flying Lotus’s last opus ‘Cosmogramma’. Just never got round to it. Shocking isn’t it? A man of my regard within the community. Anyway I will make up for lost time by boldly proclaiming this new one a very good record.
Flying Lotus has of late become the king of the kind of electro-soul, hip-hop, electronica hybrid that the likes of Prefuse 73 and Squarepusher once threatened to take overground. The minute you hurl the needle on the record and shout ‘beat go’ there is a slew of fascinating sounds to perk up even the most jaded of ears. For the uninitiated (are there any left? - I guess worldwide probably millions) it’s exciting, multicoloured, all the stops pulled out dance music with funny lopsided beats, gorgeous Rhodes piano trills all manner of detritus floating around the mix.
There’s a jazz inflected influence visible throughout in the complicated electronic squiggles but its never allowed to overrule the music. It’s a thoughtful listen but also very melodic, tracks like the very Squarepusher ‘Tiny Tortures’ are upbeat, bouncy whilst retaining a celestial, mysterious feel to them.
There are a few interesting guest spots, it’s nice to see the excellent Erykah Badu utilised on the percussive opus ‘See Thru U’ which is probably the nearest Flying Lotus comes to a straightforward tune despite a wayward time signature and jazz funk basslines, Thundercat given his due on the Stevie Wonder updated for 2012 soul of the gorgeous, shimmering ‘DMT Song’, and for all you mopers out there, ol’ funny eye Thom Yorke adds his strangulated whine to ‘Electric Candyman’ sounding oddly like Green Gartside. All in all one of the most high profile but essential electronic albums of the year, not always accessible but always enjoyable.
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- Until The Quiet Comes by Flying Lotus
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