Following the pattern of releasing a new LP every two years, October will once more bring a new collection of songs from experimental musician Flying Lotus. This time around the tracks are again much different than anyone could have anticipated. Personally I thought the recently released “Between Friends (with Earl Sweatshirt and Captain Murphy)” was an indication of what listeners could expect of ‘Until the Quiet Comes’, but I was wrong.
[quote]I feel like I, I worked the hardest I’ve ever worked on a record this time around. I tried to trim the fat in a lot of instances, like I tried to just keep everything focused. It was kind of a challenge for me to pull back and strip things down, and at the same time I think it makes the most sense. – Flying Lotus[/quote]
In the recent ‘Fly First ‘ Pitchfork.tv documentary which follows Flying Lotus from the Forecastle Festival to Pitchfork Music Festival Ellison says, “I feel like I, I worked the hardest I’ve ever worked on a record this time around. I tried to trim the fat in a lot of instances, like I tried to just keep everything focused. It was kind of a challenge for me to pull back and strip things down, and at the same time I think it makes the most sense.” He seems to alternate an “album” track with these killer interludes. Multiple tracks throughout even have a feeling of movements within the songs.
This progression results in a more cohesive work than previous releases. Guest vocals are used more effectively than ever and the slower tempo rhythms are groovier than ever. Old listeners can find traces of past sounds while both old and new fans alike will find these new songs fresh and imaginative. All the best bits of his previous choppier style merged with a new ever growing developed fluidity.
“Getting There” featuring Niki Randa is sweet, reminds me of something Pogo would put together. “Heave(n)” just gets better and better after each album listen. “All the Secrets” and the second bit of “Only if You Wanna” are probably my favorite pieces of the entire album. Some may balk at the lack of Thom Yorke’s vocal presence on “Electric Candyman” but listen to it a few more times, it’s perfect.
A few tracks for me though are a big too long. The last quarter of the album drags on at times and makes a single album listen sitting a bit of a challenge. On first listen only a few tracks stood out and none of those were ‘bangers’ that I would want to immediately share with friends. Some really substantial tracks here and that’s the challenge, tracks I originally dismissed were the same ones stuck in my head in line at the Post Office the same afternoon. Dark, cerebral, and satisfying, the elements giving structure to this album are still that Lotus that we know and love. Think of this release as the soundtrack to a warm lucid dream. And the natural sounds of tranquility after the storm that was 2010’s ‘Cosmogramma.’
Not as chipper as ‘Cosmogramma’ or beat oriented as 2008’s ‘Los Angeles,’ these songs were composed, according to FlyLo, as ”a collage of mystical states, dreams, sleep and lullabies.” If you’re here for those Adult Swim bumps you will be sorely disappointed. ‘Until the Quiet Comes’ shows maturity and the endless versatility that Steven Ellison possesses.