Flying Lotus - Until the Quiet Comes
When the eclectic Steven Ellison, a.k.a. Flying Lotus, released the multi-genred “Cosmogramma” in 2010, IDM and beat music became cool over-fucking-night. If you weren’t an oddball independent hip-hop or electronic producer, listening to beats and instrumentals of such densely experimental proportions was a practice totally unheard of. Most of this genre’s recent surge can be attributed to masterful success of Flying Lotus, hence making his latest LP, “Until the Quiet Comes”, one of the most anticipated albums of this year.
Alas, one of the forgotten golden rules of music is that every genre or culture has a correlating payoff. Pop music has its catchiness, hip-hop owns human adrenaline and jazz offers a pure sonic catharsis. The best experimental projects who blend multiple genres discover and offer a new payoff, one that wasn’t conceived to us before. Through all of its sound-scape glory and stunning audio textures, “Until the Quiet Comes” is a record with no relative payoff. Ellison draws out a world ready to be explored, but we slowly realize there’s not a lot of activities here. The opener track “All In” opens with a promising beat and an defiant air of anticipation, which is when we realize this drags on for the entirety of the song. Songs like “Tiny Tortures”, “Pretty Boy Strut” and “Electric Candyman” among many others prove most frustrating; its like rummaging through a chest of promised treasures only to find old, mysterious scrolls of writing in a foreign language. Eighteen tracks of such mystifying experimental music causes one’s patience to wear thin, discouraging much excitement one could possibly conjure for an LP so demanding.
“Until the Quiet Comes” should be credited for pulling none of the punches “Cosmogramma” packed, a common artistic temptation to repeat guaranteed successes. FlyLo certainly expands its own potential and despite it’s shortcomings, “Until the Quiet Comes” is exactly the type of album you’d expect from Ellison. Admire it all day for its abundant aesthetic, advanced production abilities or adventurousness, but my appreciation for “Until the Quiet Comes” doesn’t go beyond that. It’s electronic music that behaves like jazz, but all I see are a lot of pretty neon signs with empty buildings. (5/10)
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