Lately, I keep coming across reflections on music that talk about movement. When we hear music, somehow, we’re moving inside – we’re following the lines of Bach counterpoint in our fingers, we’re singing along somewhere deep within to the vocals of Billie Holliday. We’re dancing.

“Until the Quiet Comes” is special for many reasons, in its music by Flying Lotus, in the short film by Kahlil Joseph. It’s a full meal in a Web video world many assume is made of bite-sized junk food.

But it’s special to me partly because of the way it embodies movement.

I hear from Flying Lotus recently when I saw him at SONAR; he was describing a desire for – if I remember what he said correctly – what he called “next-level s***.”

“Until the Quiet Comes” is the perfect figurative portrait of next levels. To me, it’s immensely human. And whether a video has one million view or just one, that seems a good kind of portrait to make.

The record is out now on Warp.
[from which the film is viewable everywhere, including even Germany, where the above is blocked]

  • klyt

    way over hyped

    • Peter Kirn

      That’s a profound and clearly carefully thought-out critique you’ve got there.

    • perpetual3

      It doesn’t have to be a thought out critique when the accolades are merely “positive” versions of the same.

      “Its next level” – ok, next…

      I originally wrote something the following but it never got posted:
      Album is good, music is good – my opinion.
      But is it next level? Much of the same textural aesthetics with little structure in the way of song for most of the “tracks.” Same “knock, knock” kick with swingy shakers. Same amazing musical ideas that seem to go nowhere and leave me unsatisfied, like a brilliant film rendered mediocre by a poor ending.
      Personally, I “like” the album and the music, but nothing since Los Angeles has blown me away the way Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, or Dilla did when I first heard their music.

      Rather than herald The Next, this album signals a dip, a drop, or a pause in the musical ingenuity of FlyLo. Like the iPhone, this music is iterative, a small evolution, rather than a revolution, the paradigm shift that indicates a break through the glass ceiling to the next level.

      However, I think its normal, and actually indicative of the whole LA beat scene. Led by Lotus, they were fresh and different. But Lotus kind of shot himself in the foot by somehow distancing himself from it, holding himself aloof and unreachable. There is an arrogance to his attitudes – he want’s the next level, so he’s going to bring it on because he was 2010 Chosen One. And now its 2012 – what was fresh then is a distant memory.

      So he wants to move to film. But film requires more than short clips, with interest aesthetic textures and ideas. The criticism levied against his music – the lack of structure, emphasis on textures – is even more pronounced in film, and while adding singers and jazz musicians (Thundercat, Peralta, Darlington, Ferguson, all who “humanize” his sound but remain deep in his shadow) may add a “human” element to his music, the human element is already essential to film. Using 5dmkIII’s and vintage-infusing plugins doesn’t quite work in the same way that using analog synths, live bass, and lots of compression and fx does in electronic music.

      And why does humanizing electronic music make anything next level? Its been done ad nauseum – brand new heavies, main source, guru, blue note, the roots, digable planets, etc could go on and on and on.

      Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if FlyLo’s music is the Next or not, other than his own hyped-up value over “next level shit” (he sets such a high standard for himself, he is most likely to fail is own hype, again, kind of like the iPhone). The fact that any artist can command such a critique of his music is a sign of the purest form of artistic success.

      However, I must agree with the comments below – less famous artists should be featured more prominently rather than Lotus. If CDM really wants a meritocracy, than it must acknowledge the already well oiled and primed hype machine that Lotus has at his disposal – Warp, Brainfeeder, the British Press, etc. This means that more attention should be focused on lesser known artists without the PR department churning the hype rather than on artists like Lotus. Didn’t Lotus create Brainfeeder to do exactly this – promote lesser artists and break them through to the listener hungry for these sounds?

      Which leads me to my final point – from this site, I have discovered more next-level artists on bandcamp, or at least music that approaches the next level more than Lotus’ new album. So in that regards, I think CDM maintains the meritocracy quite well, whether Peter realizes that or not.

      Next level can never be sought, described, or applied like a label. The Next is something that becomes evident immediately, to many and spreads like wildfire, before anybody has a chance to even call it what it is.

      And like that fire, it burns everything in its path, eventually consuming itself.

    • Peter Kirn

      Okay, fair enough. I’d rather read this – a brutal, but extended explanation of what you think – than not. We have various artists in the hopper that aren’t as well known as Steve is. It just takes time, and that’s part of the reason I kept my commentary on this video brief. It seemed in fact everyone hadn’t seen it, and I felt it was better to simply watch in this casse. But more is coming…

    • Flplsx

      I’m curious to know what artists you think are “next level”. I’m not criticizing you, I’m just looking for new music.

    • perpetual3

      It seems to be getting harder and harder to break through to the Next as time goes by, but I think its also a function of age and time in the scene.

      I’ve been listening to electronic music since the late 80’s, when I discovered the sounds around 11 or 12. Some might say, I’m an old man in the scene. So for me, perhaps time gives me a perspective where I hear lots of derivative and/or iterative music.

      Personally, I think Shackleton consistently pushes the boundaries. His music always seems to sneak up on me and grip my senses before my mind kicks in.

      As I think about, there isn’t so much hype around Shackleton, so I’m not expecting anything. Maybe that’s the real issue with Lotus – the hype is so great that it taints the music? I definitely believe that the mind can be influenced by many factors when perceiving music or any art, and then trying to describe the intangible into words.

      Again, I like the new FlyLo album and think there is some great music there. I don’t want to give the impressions that I think the music is poor.

      I guess in some ways I’m like FlyLo – I too want to hear and create some next level shit. I’m passionate about this. Yet, I don’t have the talent he has, which is why I am here talking about him.

    • perpetual3

      Agreed. Good music, but nothing next level, and if FlyLo is trying to create next level, then its already over.

  • redoom

    Ahhhhhhh torn.
    But that first track with Nikki Randa …. Chills

  • deb

    What a beautiful and moving film. Thanks for posting this Peter.

  • theviirus

    Interesting video, though I find Flying Lotus’ work just doesn’t strike a single heart string in me. I give it a chance, just like Dan Deacon’s work and it just doesn’t ever grab be.

  • Richard D

    So… it’s just a filmclip? Difference being this one has a title and credits?
    More focus on people who’re not already famous CDM. I find it surprising that anyone familiar with this blog or electronic music wouldn’t already have come across this ‘Film’

    • Peter Kirn

      How can you have a meritocracy if you disqualify something simply because it’s getting recognition?

  • Matt

    something about this new album has really caught me. its allowed me to access flying lotus music, i get it now. bought the vinyl