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Flying Lotus, Dinosaur Jr. 

Reviews: Until the Quiet Comes, I Bet on Sky

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Flying Lotus, Until the Quiet Comes


As the great nephew of the late jazz pianist Alice Coltrane (wife of John Coltrane), critics have always expected a certain level of avante garde when it comes to anything from Steven Ellison, better known as Flying Lotus. His impressive discography is often discussed in the same breath as his idol and predecessor, J. Dilla. So far, the comparisons have been warranted. But for the 28-year-old California native, the past few years have marked a significant leap toward his own niche in the realm of elite, post-hip-hop producers. His latest release, Until the Quiet Comes, may be his most ambitious album yet, as he ventures further from his signature space-glitch sound. In all honesty, hardcore FlyLo fans may not take to it at first dabble, simply because this release isn’t just a collection of beats—it’s, well, music. Littered with talent—Erykah Badu, Thom Yorke, Thundercat and Niki Randa, to name a few—the entire album feels as if you’re journeying through a dark, twisted fairytale with Ellison as your white rabbit. There’s a notion that perhaps Ellison has picked up where his third full-length album, 2010’s Cosmogramma, left off. But unlike Cosmogramma, there are no singular tracks that float to the top. Rather, Until the Quiet Comes feels as if it’s meant to be experienced not in small snippets, but as a wholer. Warp Records, Oct. 2 (Colin Wolf)

Dinosaur Jr., I Bet on Sky


I Bet on Sky, Dinosaur Jr.’s third album since the 2005 reunion of the original lineup (frontman/guitarist J Mascis, bassist Lou Barlow and drummer Murph) soars all over the Dino-sonic palette we’ve come to know and love. It’s a sound that can plunge into the muck and mire of a “Sludgefeast” or create so much friction on the fretboard that Mascis should be wearing a welder’s mask. “Don’t Pretend You Didn’t Know,” the opening track, is propelled by the rhythm of a rambling piano riff that doesn’t even fully emerge until the final verse. Then “Watch the Corners” leans hard into a fuzz-laden, stately two-step, à la the band’s tunes from the ’90s, a time when they became popular among the grunge crowd. But this album, somehow, manages at moments to be ethereal. With more variety than almost any of their other albums, I Bet on Sky, Dinosaur Jr.’s 10th release, is a stylistic potpourri. J Mascis has been the Neil Young of indie rock—a poet of psychedelic depths of loneliness roughly sketched, more powerful because of his raw, ungainly honesty. Although I Bet on Sky is the band’s most subtle and overall quietest album in terms of decibels, the moments when they wail, they still pull out all the stops. Check out the standout track, “Pierce the Morning Rain.” Jagjaguwar, Sept. 18 (Brian Staker)
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