Album Review

Until The Quiet Comes

Until The Quiet Comes

By Flying lotus

Warp Records
7 / 10
23rd October 2012

By Martyn Pepperell


Built from dreamy, surrealistic bell tones and keyboard melodies, shuffling insectoid drum patterns, warm understated bass, celestial vocal performances and swirling psychedelic incidental noises, Until The Quiet Comes is the forth studio album from Los Angeles laptop beat music auteur Flying Lotus. Working in diametric opposition to the sonic maximalism and intense space opera level theatrics of his third studio album and watershed work Cosmgramma, Until The Quiet Comes sees Flying Lotus turning the hourglass upside down. Resetting the scene , he restarts within an inverse location. After all, when your last record imagined a soundworld as big and detailed as an entire galaxy in nature, zoning right in, and focusing on, as he explained to me in a recent interview, "the inward journey...the intimate journey," makes a lot of sense.

Fluent in computer based production, drum machines, keyboards and synthesisers and producer style studio direction, Until The Quiet Comes sees him working alongside vocalists Laura Darlington, Erykah Badu, Niki Randa and Thom Yorke, and a cast of players and composers including, but not limited to Samiyam, Dorian Concept, Miguel Atwood Fergusson, Thundercat and Jonny Greenwood. Building post hip-hop and psychedelica rooted song structures which ebb, flow, twist and turn like the sequence of events experienced within dreams, over the albums forty six so minute running time, Flying Lotus approximates a headspace which really does feel like a trip through the subconscious inner mind beyond the waking world. However, the flipside to this is that, just like dreams themselves, details can seem vivid and hyper focused for a brief moment, only to completely slip away from the mind shortly after concluding listening to the record.

While certain moments such as the pitch shifting chirp driven head nod jam 'Putty Boy Strut', the rhythmically scattered, yet melodically worming song spiral of 'Until The Quiet Comes', the sinuous bounce of 'The Nightcrawler' and the Lapaluxesque tendencies of 'Me Yesterday//Corded' jump out and lodge themselves firmly in the minds ear, there is a lot that, as suggested before, slips away all too quickly. Surprisingly, some of the weaker tracks on the record are actually the ghostly vocal collaborations with the aforementioned roster of singers. Tangential to this, on 'Electric Candyman', Flying Lotus sets up a situation in which to the untrained ear, Thom Yorke's cloudy musings could be mistaken for Californian singing desert mystic Gonjasufi.

At the same time though, this toning down and increased haziness isn't necessarily a bad thing. For those overwhelmed by the scope, detail and size of Cosmgramma, Until The Quiet Comes has been a, no pun intended, quiet antidote to the hyperactive maximalism of that keynote work. While not perfect, and not that huge a progression from Cosmgramma, Until The Quiet Comes looks set to carry things forward beyond that acclaimed work. In the process, that which could have been the headstone becomes a landmark and the Flying Lotus story continues. Decidedly opposed to the busyness of now, Until The Quiet Comes could be the refugee you seek.






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