Trying to compartmentalise Flying Lotus’s new album isn’t the easiest thing to do. It is a a psyched out acid trip of a record, starting free and easy, descending into a tripping cloud of jazz and heat before entering a gentle, pretty wind down towards the end. As a result, it makes more sense to talk about this record as a whole from the start. In ‘Until the Quiet Comes’ Flying Lotus has emphasised his jazz influences in this album with even inspiration from early trippy funk bands like Funkadelic and these remain strong throughout with bright jazz instruments that bring to mind Thundercat’s release last year. One percussive feature that routinely appears throughout the album from the intro is the shaker that Lotus combines with the feel and beat of the vast majority of tracks on here. The percussion generally is loose and relaxed often based on wood block/jam block sounds but having said that I did say trying to deconstruct this record is pointless and this is still true because the percussion is a myriad of varied and colourful beats, glitchy at times and strait up at others but with a constant array of twitching and moving electronic textures over the top.
Flying Lotus has had blues influences attributed to his work before but I would argue that these are harder to discern on this record apart from a few instances where a sweet sweet saxophone can be heard along with some other horn arrangements. However, there is a cadence of the sincerity and soul of blues here which isn’t necessarily attributable to a single instrument, it’s just there. It is around the saxophone feature that the most hip-hop styled works appears but this lasts only briefly until a sawing synth queues a noisy, heavy bass wobble.
One thing I haven’t mentioned so far is the range of collaborations and vocal samples that feature across ‘Until The Quiet Comes’, Niki Randa appears twice and Thundercat, Thom Yorke, Erykah Badu each have a track credited to them. Niki Randa needs attention though because her vocals in some the jazzier moments on this album are stunning adding a constant sparkle to the lengthier sections that feel like delirium for their movement and intensity. Thundercat’s bass features are also perfect – these parts are indicative of the level of composition that has taken place in writing and building this album because this record could have had the potential to lose a listener if it wasn’t carefully managed this doesn’t happen, Flying Lotus is always there to catch you and push a new direction (it is Flying Lotus after all).
The latter half of the album takes a mixier feel, the range of percussion, instruments and samples are retained but there is an absence of beats in places that the earlier sections of the album either promised or left completely at times. Despite that minor complaint, the final 4-5 tracks of this record are still ace with great bass tone and piano features. I suppose, thinking about the presence/absence of massive percussion Flying Lotus is exploring his abstract ideas fully which is really to the power of ‘Until the Quiet Comes’ which is more of a bass feature album over anything else; it’s a sultry event.