Flying Lotus - Until The Quiet Comes

A term like ‘glitch-hop’ doesn’t do this music justice; every thudding drumbeat matters, every twinkling piano or breathy vocal line seems vital to creating this world.

Label: Warp

Rating: 9

‘Until The Quiet Comes’ is a journey that begins and ends with ellipses. It’s as if you’ve woken up in the middle of it, contained in a capsule gliding though space. It’s a record that instantly envelopes you in its world, submerges you in a nocturnal dreamscape, as you look out on the vastness that lies in front.

If that sounds hyperbolic just take a listen. It’s proof that Steven Ellison is a man who has mastered creating his own universes. Solids melt and the liquid grooves of his stardust-sprinkled landscapes emerge – and then dissolve to morph into new, more elegant shapes.

And here, on this record, unlike the more frenzied, darker ‘Cosmogramma’, the skies are lit with vivid hues and streaks of light. It’s richer, jazzier and warmer, the journey dappled with splashes of colour, like you’re watching the orange glow of the sunrise from Mars.

Ellison seems akin to a thousand-armed mechanical machine, as he picks through a rich sonic palette that includes hip-hop, dubstep, jazz and blues, dropping elements into his songs and melding them seamlessly together.

Yet for a digital jazz record, the whirs and hums sound distinctly human. Ellison delves deep into his box of sounds and emerges with thumping drum patterns, snaking bass, twinkling keys, butterfly-like jazzy bass lines and graceful strings. It all feels both restless and restful, these skittering beats and deliciously undulating rhythms creating a blissful universe.

A term like ‘glitch-hop’ doesn’t do this music justice; every thudding drumbeat matters, every twinkling piano or breathy vocal line seems vital to creating this world. ‘All The Secrets’ is bleepy lushness, in fast forward and then reverse; ‘Sultan’s Request’ pulsates and squelches majestically while ‘Putty Boy Strut’ is all handclaps and off kilter, effervescent piano.

The Erykah Badu-led ‘See Thru To U’ is built on shuffling percussion with her voice drifting over the top before it’s finally teleported off to a different dimension. Niki Randa and Laura Darlington’s spectral contributions on ‘Getting There’ and ‘Phantasm’ create textured, cardboard-box-percussion hymns. That the Thom Yorke track is perhaps the weakest thing on here (or should I say, the least essential) says a lot.

The closing tracks ‘me Yesterday//Corded’ and ‘Dream To Me’ bring all this vast ambition to an end, though as the closing soulful shards of ‘Dream To Me’ are swallowed up you feel like the party is carried on in a parallel world.

That this journey seems to be searching for a meaning throughout its 45 minutes is the only complaint – though is also the point of the record. It’s a world in which subtle shifts and rich textures consume your mind whole. ‘Until The Quiet Comes’ is an album that is celebratory and desolate, dense and sparse, dark and colourful – a trippy, fantastical ride that only he could create a path for.