3. Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes
Until The Quiet Comes is simultaneously 2012’s most coherent and its most eclectic album, a testament to the versatile touch of its architect, Flying Lotus. Within the world it creates, the textures and rhythms of trap, jazz, dubstep, golden era hiphop, cosmic soul, techno, filter house and even beat-less musical passages which are hardly done justice by the dated genre-term ‘ambient’ all combine to create a singular dreamlike experience. Never mind that these multiform, hard-to-verbalize dreamscapes are all conjured up with little or no reliance on words (Erykah Badu‘s appearance on “See Thru To U” is a welcome exception). Never mind that FlyLo’s restless, synaesthetic intelligence has produced visual accompaniments (The animated video for “Putty Boy Strut”; the fx-heavy mini-movie starring Elijah Wood that is “Tiny Tortures”; the experimental album preview Small Moments; the Sundance-selected short film with Kahlil Joseph also titled Until The Quiet Comes) which threaten to overshadow the album with their brilliance. Even taken as a purely sonic document, Until The Quiet Comes is a remarkable achievement. Not just for the fluid way that it plays with musical form; walking jazz basslines morph into flying and hovering basslines, the odd harmonics and thumping drum kits of Dilla-esque beats (see “Getting There,” below) rub against what appears to be the sound of Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke being attacked by killer dolphins. But because, as with the visuals, the psychedelic variety of the music somehow serves a unified feeling–the simultaneous disbelief and limitless possibility of a lucid dream.