Artist: Flying Lotus
Album: Until The Quiet Comes
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Record Label: Warp
I always wondered if Steven Ellison can do any wrong. Ellison, who goes by his stage name Flying Lotus, has made leaps in forward-thinking Hip-Hop and Jazz, incorporating various forms of experimentation into his sound. The nephew of Alice and John Coltrane, and cousin of Ravi Coltrane, FlyLo has broken through the masses with his buoyant grooves, Adult Swim placements, and linking with numerous musical stalwarts such as Erykah Badu and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. After releasing a daring and equally excellent effort in 2010’s Cosmogramma, Ellison continues to reshape everything with his most accessible and challenging album to date: Until The Quiet Comes.
Looking at the album cover (and the previous two full-length projects), it gives you a taste of what to expect. Here is elegance shrouded in mystery and underwater dreams that happens to give the listener the feeling of levitation. With the whimsical intro “All In”, you are already taken in by the buzzing chimes and bass riffs as it flows easily into the album’s first gem, “Getting There”. FlyLo adds some mystical flare to a booming instrumental that is only elevated by the alluring voice of Niki Randa, who also appears later on “Hunger”.
There’s times when the listener feels so immersed into some of the melodies that they will forget that the songs are short. “Sultan’s Request” is a synth-heavy treat that sounds like that it could be in a cave trail for Pokemon Yellow, gradually building up only to abruptly end and wanting more from it. It is quickly followed by the electro hand-clapper “Putty Boy Strut”, playing up from his previous Cosmo endeavors. Ellison also gets funky with “The Nightcaller”, which does its best in trying to eclipse Cosmogramma’s addictive “Do The Astral Plane”, but does not come as close. What does give it a special feel is when the beat changes midway through to a DJ Quik-esque neckbreaker.
The features all fit wonderfully as most reappear from the last album including Thundercat, Thom Yorke, and Laura Darlington. Erykah Badu had the standout with “See Thru To U” as her vocals molded with the furious tribal drums and harmonic grooves. Thundercat’s “DMT Song” picked up from where the two left off on The Golden Age Of Apocalypse, sounding as wavy as ever in 79 seconds. Thom Yorke’s lo-fi guest spot on “Electric Candyman” leaves little to be desired vocally, but FlyLo keeps it interesting with the backdrop, providing a series of strings and synths that can be heard closely. The grand closing of “me Yesterday//Corded” ties all of this album together with its subtle, Bon Iver-ish loop that evolves into a liquid hip-hop beat that leaves the listener in flight.
Clocking at 46 minutes of sublimity, Flying Lotus shows no signs of slowing down. Constantly looking to push the envelope with Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Electronic music alike, Until The Quiet Comes is a superb outing that puts his name at the top of the greatest producers of all-time. Now it’s no longer can he do any wrong, but more of what can he do next?
- “Getting There”
- “Putty Boy Strut”
- “See Thru To U”
- “me Yesterday//Corded”