If Igor Stravinsky were to compose “The Rite of Spring” on a space shuttle in the next millennium, it might sound something like the music that Flying Lotus creates.
The Los Angeles-based electronic producer and composer, aka Steven Ellison, is a virtuoso of arrangements that are so intricate and three-dimensional that simply playing them on loudspeakers can transform a room into a gallery. Such can be said about all of Ellison’s work, but Until the Quiet Comes is one of his most accessible exhibitions.
As great nephew of jazz pianist Alice Coltrane, pioneer of the L.A. beat scene and a product of his electronic age, FlyLo is notorious for his futuristic genre-bending and blending. This eccentricity has manifested itself to different degrees and in different directions throughout Ellison’s career, and his latest work shows an unprecedented simplicity that makes the album a perfect jumping-off point for anyone who’s never explored his work.
Fans might be excited to hear that Thom Yorke and Erykah Badu are among the featured artists on Until the Quiet Comes. But in the end, their names are more valuable than their actual contributions, and they remain in the periphery of FlyLo’s artistic vision.
Until the Quiet Comes propels the unfailing bass-centricity that flourished in each of Ellison’s previous releases. Its tracks are brief but particularly resonant. Each relies on cyclical rhythms that sprout jazzy branches and temporally displace the listener in a way that is certainly more welcoming than overwhelming.