Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes [album review]
He’s back! Steven Ellison, aka Flying Lotus, has returned with his fourth major release, “Until the Quiet Comes”. The album will be released digitally, on CD, and on Vinyl October 2nd, and there has been a lot of anticipation.
Ever since January of last year, when his third album “Cosmogramma” won best Dance/Electronica Album at the IMA’s, people have been waiting to see what would be next from this LA based musical mastermind. Listen to the album in it’s entirety from the player below:
Before we start, a disclaimer: in an attempt to not bore you all to tears, I will not be reviewing all 18 songs from this album. They are all very well produced and creative. Great. Let us begin, I’m just writing out reviews for some of my favorites.
The album opens with a song entitled “All In.” It’s a flowing, airy creation, decked out in harp synths, possibly some xylophone, and a fascinating drum pattern. I kept imagining a forest growing, as the echoing major pentatonic scales of the harp reminded me of one of those time-lapse videos of a tree growing. Maybe I’m just weird. By the time the vocals came in, I was sold. Also, I’m going to try to attribute an emotion to each of the tracks, in an attempt to convey to you readers the feeling I get from each of his songs. This one would be excitement. Appropriate for the first track of an album!
Called “Until the Colours Come”, the third track is a euphoric synth daydream, comprised of huge range of synth pads running scales. With a distant bell tolling in the background, more layers were added to the point I had to sit back and close my eyes simply to be able to handle the intricate noise being pumped into my ears. I love it. This track, even though I already used this adjective to describe it, is euphoria.
The 6th tune of the album is entitled “All the Secrets”. This song has a much faster tempo, and presents an entirely different section of Flying Lotus’ production range. The bouncing drum kick and chopped piano chords immediately piqued my interest, and held it throughout the song. Listen for the sliding bass notes, which pull on the upward energy of the song, keeping the melody grounded between the looped piano chords. Dynamic.
“Sultan’s Request”, the very next track, came as a shock! The heavy distortion was not something I was expecting after the first section of the album. And boy is it heavy. The song reminded me of FlyLo’s Hip Hop roots, and delivered an appreciated change of gear from the slower melodic synthy start of the LP. If nothing else, this track is gritty.
The eponymous track of the album, “Until The Quiet Comes”, is a soulful exhibition of Flying Lotus’ ability as a producer. It’s heavily intricate, but still charged with a sultry, almost lazy sentiment. Notice the beautiful contrast between the low, dragging bass line, and the fast clapping. The dichotomy between the two creates a fascinating conversation throughout the song. Pensive.
The 11th track of the album is entitled “DMT Song” and features Thundercat, a bassist signed to Ellison’s label Brainfeeder. DMT, a potent hallucinogen, is paid homage in a truly bizzare and haunting track. I like it for these same reasons. The ghostly vocals and odd lyrics make for an interesting listening experience. And through headphones, my head was spinning by the end. Trippy shit. Poignant.
The penultimate track on the album is fantastic. It’s named “me Yesterday/ / Corded” (yep, I know), and is a swirling, introspective rollercoaster. It begins with what sounds like a vibraphone/steel drum banging out some chords, and eventually morphs into an echoey, sensory-overloading masterpiece. And just when you think it’s all winding down, a whole new movement begins with an awesome beat, blaring major synth chords, and of course, haunting vocals. At this point in the album, the emotion is triumphant.
Flying Lotus is unique. His style of production, his attitude about music, and his openness to experimentation are what make him such an incredible artist, and this album is a beautiful example of that. From the smooth opening chords of “All In” to the throaty growl of “Sultan’s Request”, Steven Ellison demonstrates his versatility and inquisitive nature as a musician. With so much great material, I realize there are gaps in my review, so leave comments down below with your thoughts!