Flying Lotus, “See Thru To U”

Blake Gillespie

Flying Lotus

Ever since crowning Flying Lotus's Cosmogramma as the Best Release of 2010, the way we've looked at the Steven Ellison has drastically changed. Once he was a member of a society of beatmakers, who gathered at a function in LA to jam, edit, and share their findings. Post-Cosmogramma it became Steven Ellison as the planet that gathers moons and satellites into his orbit. The word “collaboration” redeemed its power as more than just rappers passing blunts in the studio or singer-songwriters paired with movie starlets. Collaboration was discussed with care and significance as though a higher art was being made, but we didn't have to slip into the snobbish terrain of jazz to do so. Ellison created the amalgamation of 50 years of jazz, house, electronic, and hip hop – nearly all of which was American made – and fed it through his brilliant skull to better our dialogue.

To do so, means there's a lot riding on full-length follow-up Until The Quiet Comes. Resting at the elbow of UTQC is the Erykah Badu collaboration, “See Thru To U”. Our first listen to the coos of Ellison's new child, “See Thru To U” has the bendy basslines we now associate with Thundercat – in a household name sort of way – and a tribal percussive bounce that lends earthly undertones to Miss Badu's ethereal sway. The presence of past visitors to Ellison's planet, like Thundercat, Laura Darlington and Thom Yorke, will undoubtedly influence how we listen to Until The Quiet Comes for the fledgling years of its arrival.

With one song and a list of names, it feels as though it's building upon the infastructure of Cosmogramma and stiring further cosmic drama. After our first listen comes, we're excited for how we'll hear UTQC when we're decades older and talking about FlyLo the way the older heads talk of Sun Ra.

Flying Lotus' Until The Quiet Comes is out October 2 on Warp.

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