Flying Lotus has made a beautiful habit of creating mind-melting opuses ever since ‘Los Angeles’ rippled our attention in 2008. Two years later, ‘Cosmogramma’ kicked it up a notch, flickering into life like a pirate radio station, dancing between the extremes and levelling out with blankets of warm, rolling melody. But even that album, for all of its acclaim, wasn’t an easy ride to settle into; it required the time and dedication to squeeze out the painful story behind the LP and catharsis of the slow burn. For many, it was the FlyLo benchmark, propelling Steven Ellison and his shape-shifting production onto the billboard charts. No pressure this time, then. Not that you’d ever be able to sense anything beyond Ellison’s effortlessly laconic persona.
Where he grieved on ‘Cosmogramma’, he believes on ‘Until The Quiet Comes’ and there’s a burgeoning sense of hope and coherence and optimism permeating this astral odyssey. Away from the accelerated scenes, sets and trends, FlyLo’s contentedly been reinforcing his legacy, dialling up the space opera to new levels of sumptuously psychedelic baroque, and continues to command a critical, almost cultish, respect. Rich with orchestral swells, ethereal melody and Thundercat’s chunky, cosmic bass, it’s an album that revels in its disjoints, stuttering the flow, the twinkling melody and disjointed beats of ‘Heave (N)’ suckering you right back in; the warped, space-age bump and grind of ‘The Nightcaller’ evoking Solaris XXX; the dark matter weight of ‘Sultan’s Request’ coming on deliciously heavy.
Ghosting melodies and boundless mysticism make this set as lozenge-smooth as ever, fusing FlyLo’s trademark blend of jazz, hip-hop, syrupy beats and ambient washes, and bleeding everything into one joyously opulent journey. Faced with condensing sixty tracks into the album’s eighteen, for all the celestial beauty, ‘Until The Quiet Comes’ is as much a triumph of cutting the excess as it is of his honeyed curation. For a producer who approaches his music with the intention of making it as timeless, forward thinking and future proof as possible, it elevates this album beyond a fresh benchmark. It’s a masterpiece.
Words by REEF YOUNIS