Fortune appears to have favoured Flying Lotus, AKA Steven Ellison, over the last few years. As an artist and producer in a rich groove, last album, ‘Cosmogramma’, set a popular benchmark, gathering reverential acclaim and gate-crashing the US Top Twenty in the process. As a proud label boss, his Brainfeeder imprint continues to command a critical, almost cultish, respect; an esteemed byword for a world of celestial interludes, static samples, gloomy atmospherics and hijacked frequencies. There’s always been a shape-shifting mysticism and boundless quality to Fly Lo’s lozenge-smooth output, and new album ‘Until The Quiet Comes’ is no different. Where ‘Cosmogramma’ danced between the extremes and levelled out with blankets of warm, rolling melody, the hip-hop, jazz, syrupy beats and ambient washes here pick up from the space opera of its predecessor and bleed everything together into an effortlessly opulent journey.
“The story of this album to me,” Steven starts, “I really wanted it to feel like more of a minimal approach. The last album was vast in scope so I wanted to make this one more inward, more personal, and that meant slowing things down and finding the right moments to embellish.”
“I can see the impact the last record had, in a good way,” he continues, “but I can hear it and would do things differently now, and I feel differently now. I feel like a different person and that’s kinda what’s cool about doing these records…I feel like I wouldn’t say the same thing, and the things I did say, I felt, honestly.”
After the downbeat therapy of ‘Cosmogramma’ helped him channel the grief and upheaval of his mum’s passing, it’s difficult to imagine an album becoming more personal, but there’s a noticeably steely dedication to creating and instilling a defining longevity in all of his work. It underpins the sense that Flying Lotus is as much for Steven, as it is for everyone else.
“I don’t want to do records that are just of the moment, and I don’t knock that at all, there are a lot of artists who make hits based on what people are feeling in the streets and in the clubs, and that’s awesome, but when I make a record, I really want to put things out I think I’d listen to after the phases are over. I really do feel like I tried to capture where I’ve been the last couple of years and make something that reflected my time on Earth since the last record. It’s difficult in a way but now I’ve got this record to run to when shit gets heavy. All the good things and bad things, they’re all in there and I enjoy every piece of it.”
This is an excerpt from the November 2012 issue of Clash magazine. Find out more about the issue.
Buy the November 2012 issue of Clash Magazine.
Words: Reef Younis
Photography: Rory Van Millingen
Styling: Jayson Hindley