posted 2012-10-15 19:27:17

Until the Quiet Comes

Flying Lotus reworks the formula for latest album

Julian Rivas

Arts and Entertainment Editor

The latest release from Flying Lotus, Until the Quiet Comes, mills together the same genres the electronic producer usually draws from: otherworldly electronic music, jazz, hip hop. But whereas Lotus’ previous albums, like Los Angeles and Cosmogramma, revolve around hectic spaceship atmospheres, Until the Quiet Comes lounges at a dreamy midpoint between those genres. Lotus dodges predictability by paring down the formula, and allowing his sounds to soothe in paucity.

There’s a clear-headedness more apparent in this album than in Lotus’ other works. Jazz is the base foundation for much of the music, and it’s used effectively. Balmy piano keys and bass lines help ground songs like “Putty Boy Strut” and the album title track into comforting, intimate experiences. There’s a loose, episodic nature to the tracks, which flow in more conventional, groovier progressions and peter out before overstaying their welcome. The album opener, “All In,” keeps a steady rhythm, allowing the exuberant harps, strings and sparkly piano keys to shimmer beautifully.

Flying Lotus’ oddball techniques reveal themselves in subtler, more interesting ways. Given more space to shine, the little clicks, fuzz and flickering noises in the background give the album a simultaneous vibe of warm homeliness and mysticism. “Until the Colours Come” sounds like a detailed vision of one of the planets Isao Tomita imagined in his composer work. The video game sounds have also been toned down after becoming an overused trope in electronic music. Rather than smearing glitch noises everywhere, tracks like “Heave(n)” build into titillating swirls of dissolving Nintendo electronics and muted coos. The move for restraint gives these 8-bit noises a rejuvenating effect.

Lotus’ transition into subtlety isn’t entirely without fault. Dance tracks in the vein of “Parisian Goldfish” and “Do the Astral Plane” are entirely absent from the album, which could use a few jolts of energy. The sense of fun in uncovering an album as freakishly ambitious and jam- packed with sound as Cosmogramma is sacrificed by the leisurely jazz vibe.

Individual tracks on Quiet Comes can also feel quaint when compared with the grand standalone sets found on Cosmogramma. Taken as a whole though, Until the Quiet Comes is a calming experience packed with imaginative details. Flying Lotus shows to be less interested in showing off his wide-range of influences this time, and more interested in simply building lush soundscapes.