Flying Lotus / Until The Quiet Comes / Review

by marcopantella

Read it on The GROUND Magazine

Unfortunately quietness is something that does not come even in dreams because eventually you wake up from them. Nonetheless music from Flying Lotus latest work “Until The Quiet Comes”, could be the perfect lullaby for a constant daydreaming state of being. It is the perfect soundtrack to listen to in a grey London morning, as you sip red wine, or as you get ready for a night out.

Some mystical doctrines believe that as we fall asleep our soul ascends to the endless world, back to where it came from. As our body rests, the soul recharges in this dimension where there is no space and time and the law of cause and effect is working. In this process, the soul remains attached to our body with an invisible umbilical cord and every glimplse from above, may come to us in what we call “dream”. If this realm exists, FlyLo access it through irregular drum beats, electronic jazz, and African percussions, leading us up there with occasional ghostly vocals performed by Thom Yorke, Erykah Badu, and Niki Randa.

Flying Lotus – Until The Quite Comes

This dreamland scenario of FlyLo fourth studio album comes to life after two years of recording in a much more acoustic space where meticulous mixing techniques and dynamics have been fused in order to give to an instrumental mark to the album, a choice that results in an intellectual, sophisticated, and unpretentious work, far from the previous electronica and dance of 2010 “Cosmogramma”.

When you are lucky enough to have Alice and John Coltrane in you ancestry, sooner or later you will be inspired and as he listened to their music and took piano lessons to master more chords and progressions, “Until The Quiet Comes” shaped its minimal sound, getting to the core of emotions in a very intimate way.

This collage of mystical states, dreams, sleep and lullabies opens with “All In”, that prepares you to fall asleep and just let go as the battle beetween the conscious mind and the unconscious is expressed with bells, harps, and electric basses. Less than three minutes and a much more aggressive drum pattern leads you through “Getting There”, where Niki Randa’s vocals welcomes you in this magical world.

The first part of this journey is an enchanting sort of downtempo jazz suite and after “Heave(n)”, the more psychedelic tunes of  ”Sultan’s Request” and “Putty Boy Strut” are hypnotising. As you are deep into your sleep by now, unaware, dreams starts shaping and FlyLo plays with your subconsciousness through tense synthesizers, complex and irregular drum beats, and even steady hand claps. Creative partner Thundercat is also responsible for this as he plays live bass on nine songs.

Flying Lotus – Sultan’s Request

Leaving logic and reasons and straight into the arms of unconsciousness we are now ready for some dream-like treats. The first one is Erykah Badu that with her warm and soulful voice sings in the jazz fusion and tribal rhytms track “See Thru to U”. FlyLo prerogative was to have vocalists that would understand and add something to the already existing texture of his production without turning it into a song. This has been remarkably accomplished and Thom Yorke’s moment in “Electric Candyman” has its own overture with “Only If You Wanna”, a marvelous jazz trio piece with both digital and analog sounds.

“Look into my mirror and say my name”, “Electric Candyman” has a sensual and dreamy R&B style and it is inspired by 1992 film “Candyman”. The last graceful guest vocals are by Laura Darlington in the electro-acoustic “Phantasm” before a deep and tense change of direction as this dream starts fading. Consonant and dissonant sounds are blended with bright arpeggios and ethereal vocal choruses in “me Yesterday//Corded” and the melodic refrains of a childlike innocence that you witnessed along this journey are now far behind. As the soul comes back to the body, we wake up from this dream with an introspective and futuristic synthesizer that kicks in after 2 minutes during the song.

It may seem an abrupt way to wake up but it is not, it is just the moment within the dream where you actually realise that you are dreaming. Sometimes you don’t want to wake up and sometimes, during a nightmare, you just can’t seem to wake up even if you want to. In this case the closing track, “Dream To Me”, is another lullaby to enjoy with your eyes wide open in the warmth of your bed. The journey is over but if you put this album on repeat like I do, it is an endless visionary experience that brings fine musical inspiration back to reality and shows FlyLo’s ability as sound engineer and his clever wit to focus more on the music dynamics rather than the production.

They say that a dream is never just a dream, even though our rational mind comprehends that it is an abstract concept. “Until The Quiet Comes” is what dreams are made of when they take a musical form and to me this is the purpose of art. Creating something as real as possible out of something that belongs to the abstract.