Chris Daly defines quiet differently than you or I.
Heavy is the head that wears the crown, or so I hear. When you’re the grand-nephew of jazz luminary Alice Coltrane (the wife of John Coltrane), and the de facto guru of the LA beat scene, people tend to expect a lot from you. Throw into the mix that your regular collaborators are Thom Yorke and Erykah Badu, and people expect the astronomical.
These demands have to weigh, and as otherworldly skilled as Flying Lotus might be, he remains human. While his previous LP received universal accolades from almost every critic, to the more casual listener, let’s be real, Cosmogramma wasn’t an “easy listen.” While it’s as easy to categorize Steven Ellison as a jazz musician, his bop isn’t readily accessible. It’s more like Miles’ jazz fusion—there’s certainly a groove to be found, but the time signatures are all over the board, and multiple listens are often required to get the full effect of what FlyLo is trying to convey.
That’s why Until the Quite Comes is one of the most enjoyable albums Flying Lotus has ever made. His earlier records seemed to intentionally push boundaries for the sake of pushing them, but here the Brainfeeder boss seems to say, “fuck it, I’m just going to make a very good album and leave it at that.
Taking a largely minimalist, almost ambient approach for most of the album, FlyLo opts for substance over style here. While some of the early tracks don’t seem particularly complex in terms of instrumentation, Ellison still can do more with a sketch book than you or I could with a lifetime of lessons. And Flying Lotus might be the best non-rap drum sequence programmer since Prince, as evidenced on tracks like “Only If You Wanna” and the hand claps in “Putty Boy Strut.” Don’t even get me started on the funk here. “Electric Candyman” and “Sultans Request” would make George Clinton jealous with those grimy bass lines and filthy synths,
If that weren’t enough. let’s examine the guest list. The aforementioned Yorke and Badu show up for possibly the best two tracks on the album (“Electric Candyman” and “See Thru to U”), as does the best damn bassist on the planet this side of Bootsy Collins and Victor Wooten in Thundercat (“DMT Song” and added bass lines here and there). While you may not be as familiar with Niki Randa and Laura Darlington, their contributions on “Getting There” and “Phantasm” respectively not only show off Lotus’ skill at uncovering a couple of sets of incredible pipes, but also further exemplify his ability to match the perfect voice with his beat music.
Until the Quiet Comes is the most apropos album title Flying Lotus could have used. Because until that reality arrives, his music keeps the interim unpredictable and thus, exciting.
MP3: Flying Lotus – “Lovers Melt 3”