What was Flying Lotus supposed to do, twist our synapses till they turned blue every single time out? Please – not even Hendrix could have done that. British DJ Mary Anne Hobbs may have declared FlyLo Jimi’s modern equivalent, but Until the Quiet Comes, his fourth album, plays like something Jimi didn’t get to stay around and make: both reflective and madcap, full of details scurrying in the margins. Take “Tiny Tortures,” which rides a near-subcutaneous bass pulse, twitchy, subtle clicks and clacks, ruminative jazz guitar flecks and flurries. Is it fusion? Maybe, but it doesn’t show off the way most fusion does – it’s too busy sneaking up on you.
Seventies cosmic jazz has always been a FlyLo touchstone, and his forays into it can feel ponderous, such as on the brief “DMT Song,” on which Thundercat’s vocals are echoed into gauze over glittery electric piano and twisting double bass. But mostly he’s impish, as is evident even on broader-stroked tracks such as the overtly daffy “Pretty Boy Strut,” where a walking bass line meets cartoon-voiced keyboards and insistent electro-handclaps. There are fewer giant flourishes of the sort that marked 2008′s Los Angeles or 2010′s Cosmogramma, though. Even the big guest starsâ€”Erykah Badu on the circularly rhythmic “See Thru to U,” Radiohead’s Thom Yorke on the dense whorl of “Electric Candyman” – are ingredients he stirs into the mix with impunity. As always, the signature is FlyLo’s alone.