Review: Flying Lotus remains uncontested in his field

Michael Bragg

Editor’s Note: The following reflects the opinions of the author.

California’s jazz fusion, hip-hop, trip-hop and psychedelic’s most celebrated producer – being so with no competition – Flying Lotus recently released his sonically beautiful fourth album “Until The Quiet Comes” and continues his dominance in his oddly specific genre.

Flying Lotus has been heralded as a musical powerhouse since his 2008 release “Los Angeles,” a genre-blending and wildly perplexing sophomore release. With the release of  “Los Angeles,” Flying Lotus has been universally respected in the independent music scene, while being disregarded by the mainstream community as backpacking-weirdo-instrumentalist.

Following his thrust into relevance with “Los Angeles,” the shockingly beautiful “Cosmogramma” followed in 2010. “Cosmogramma” displayed a heavier reliance on jazz, as opposed to the hip-hop influence on “Los Angeles.”

With critical expectations of nothing less than a classic bearing down upon the futuristic producer, “Until The Quiet Comes” does not do much to progress on Flying Lotus’ pre-established production style, but remains faithful to the technique which earned him the expectations to begin with.

Flying Lotus has always relied heavily on chopped drum samples and harrowing vocals swarming within the groove, and does nothing different throughout this project to ensure a drug trip for the listener’s ear drums.

Flying Lotus employs the likes of familiar names, and assumed admirers of his work, Tom Yorke on “Electric Candyman” and Erykah Badu on “See Thru To U,” as well as longtime collaborator Laura Darlington on “Phantasm” on his quest for commercial appeal.

Where Flying Lotus fails on these collaborations is the lack of the listeners wherewithal to recognize the featured artists appearance on the song.

This small misstep is nothing more than an oversight to the average listener, with Yorke, Badu and Darlington delivering stellar performances on their respected songs.

The brilliance of Flying Lotus is – funny enough – the recognizable beauty and unrecognizable depth and technical proficiency of his music.

The recognized, is of course, the prettiness of the overall sound of the project. The unrecognized genius, however, is the ugliness of the individual sounds that go into the creation of the album.

Flying Lotus takes the most obscure pieces of music and creates the most brilliant soundscapes possible, which is a testament to his musical prowess and unequaled hierarchy in his field.

Rating: Three and a half out of four stars

Story: WILL GREENE, A&E Reporter