Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes
I’m giving this a second full listen right now. I had heard the whole thing a few weeks back through the NPR full album stream, then bits and pieces sporadically after that. I still need to get a hard copy of this from my local record shop next time I get there. It’s definitely worth owning. That should give a pretty good indication of how I feel about it, but let me elaborate eh? I own 1983 and Cosmogramma on vinyl, they each get quite a few spins when I’m mixing things in my basement. I do not own a hard copy — only digital — of Los Angeles. I will not mention who Steve Ellison is related to, that’s getting repetitive and tedious. However I will say that the free flowing nature of Jazz certainly existed in his previous work, peaking with his last album (2010′s Cosmogramma). Until The Quiet Comes is more accessible than that album, but it is not any less artistic and that free flowing vibe hasn’t gone away. It’s just been refined. Refined to the point where it feels like this guy could keep up this pace — putting out very high quality LPs every two years — for decades to come. He knows what he does, and he does it well. The features here are done brilliantly, as each very distinct voice (Thom Yorke to Niki Randa) approaches singing on a Flying Lotus track the same way: their voice is just one of the instruments, one of the many layers, present on the track and album. They are not there to make a song stick in your head, or to be the star of any one moment. They are a small piece to the very complex puzzles this guy creates. And they treat their job(s) as such. Just like the songs are pieces to the album as a whole, and the album as a whole is a piece to the discography as a whole. Layers built on top of layers creating sediment for new layers.
Dan Deacon – America
I heard this for the first time a couple days ago but have been wanting to check it out since I heard Dan Deacon would be releasing a new album this year. Right off the bat this album will knock you on your ass. And you will only want to make it louder… and louder. Then that opening track (“Guilford Avenue Bridge”) will settle down a bit, and your stereo or headphones will still be cranked, which means you will hear all the little complexities of the quiet parts before diving into the very catchy second track. The whole of America is setup this way, calculated and structured so cleverly that by a third of the way through you will realize nothing is accidental. It’s a little strange to review and listen to these two albums back to back, in fact. They are stark opposites: one a premeditated, structured work and the other a free-form, loose album. This can be most easily explained and attributed to each person’s background. Dan Deacon went to school for composing. On top of that he also has composed numerous film scores and has even made modern classical music. On this album he really shows off his chops, his knowledge of scales and progressions… programmed into a laptop or analog synth the way a composer laid out sheet music for a 64-piece orchestra in the 1700s. “Pretty Boy” shows this off immensely. But before you know it you’re knee deep in heavy, and I mean heavy, synths that get you turning up your stereo for a second time. Once the “USA I-IV” series of tracks comes knocking on your door you will surely agree that this guy is a modern day American composer first and foremost. This is his best work.