Until the Quiet Comes, isn’t an important album really. It can’t be, as it makes every possible effort to exist outside of the frameworks that shape our society and culture. Perhaps there is an importance or relevance to that, but it’s certainly difficult to quantify what it means to the listeners, what it should mean to us.
I think it’s crucial to acknowledge it’s not what it represents – instead, it presents an album that allows us what it can represent. Sound absurd, maybe even hyperbolic? Yeah, I suppose. But if you take a step back and sort of insist you aren’t dismissive of an endless river of possibilities, you will start to see what Until the Quiet Comes can be for you. It’s a record that deals in truths and not facts. Specifically, there is a ton going on here. Free jazz, off centre percussion, samples that seemingly begin and end in the same place. A whole horde of critics equate it to a dream experience, simulating the beautiful randomness of our unconscious journeys.
To me, that’s a nice little angle but a cop out. I’ll be kind…it’s more of a jumping off point than a great way to break it down. Flying Lotus’ sound is much too rooted in the present to buy into that. Yes, it has one foot in a glitched out future, but the other is kicking up dirt in real time, with real problems we face, with real horrors and beauty. There’s a lot going on here, and a lot of the songs do tend to hang out on some astral plane. It sucks to say, Until the Quiet comes does pose a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to listen it. The wrong way is not to look down. To put it another way, it’s all too easy to let this push you along its weird path – and I guess that’s not the worst thing in the world. It’s so impressive on every imaginable technical musical level, that a clinical listen is a likely outcome. But, it can and does offer more than that, if you let it. Visual images and audible textures swap places. At first listen, Until the Quiet Comes is almost a scream against some form of biographical tyranny, although it’s impossible and lame to care in what capacity. If I’m being honest, many of the songs here simply have no point. Some pop up, bump around, and fade away. But they’re all held together by a collective, a mutant passage into something serious, or comical, but we can never figure out which is which, only doubling back to try and follow the breadcrumbs that brought you here.
I know, all of this doesn’t exactly describe what to expect with this album, or why I have it ranked 99/100. But if I were to accurately describe the sound, I would be doing this a disservice. Until the Quiet Comes is a record that lets you gaze around a lot, in a pretty wild world, but doesn’t allow you to shuffle around and move in new directions. The tour is complete. It’s up to you if you want to make the most of it. Is it fair to demand so much out of a listener? Valid question of course, but once you begin to realize the future this record presents, is nice enough to let you hitch along, you probably won’t care how fair Until the Quiet Comes really is.