Music blog 10.8.2012

by Ryo Miyauchi

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RECORD OF THE WEEK

Courtesy NME

8 / 10 Until the Quiet Comes by Flying Lotus Genre: Electronic Stephen Ellis aka Flying Lotus has a knack for complex production that packs in a lot of ideas and idioms. Over the course of his career, he has packed worlds of electro-IDM, J Dilla-isms, Jazz Fusion and avant-garde chamber into his music. His previous release Cosmogramma is an incredible score that blends all of those ideas into a continuous flow. But compared to the maximal and dense Cosmogramma, Ellis’s new record Until the Quiet Comes hits more, well, quiet. Until the Quiet Comes is a more constrained effort of Flying Lotus but still empowering.

Opposed to manic percussion and holy strings flashing throughout, Flying Lotus lets sounds manifest organically while giving out a hum of an electronic pulse. But this record should not be mistaken as minimal or ambient. Many ideas are condensed in these tracks and given a lot more room to breathe. Take “Getting There” that refreshes with cosmic string work with stomp of a breakbeat that echoes his previous work. Or the more tangible “Putty Boy Strut” naturally flows childish synth-bits, club claps, and jazz-fusion bass noodling, all summed with the dramatic string coda. All of his signature ideas are present, existing calmly in a meditative state. Until the Quiet Comes expands the complex electronica of Flying Lotus fluidly into a bigger, spiritual realm.

*Check out: “Getting There

 

SINGLES OF THE WEEK

“Losing You” by Solange
After a sensual trailer, Solange Knowles released the full video of the colorful and funky single “Losing You” this week. The single loops a gasp of commotion and dips in a sun baked R&B that burns by a fantasy poolside. Soon as the dreamy main line of Solange rocks in (“tell me the truth, boy, am I losing you for good?”), she pulls us all into her tug-of-war of mind games. “Losing You” and its hint of melancholy plays perfect to rock away the fading memory of all night kisses that Solange misses. But Solange catwalks her disconnect also as a smooth tease, moving “Losing You” sensuous enough to reach in for another hypnotic kiss.
“Do You…” by Miguel
Art dealer R&B chic Miguel released his new album Kaleidoscope Dreams this week, and it’s an awesome release you should check out. Also this week Miguel released his video for “Do You…” The “do you” question in mind is “do you like drugs?” for a feel-good night. Set in a reggae-based jam, Miguel takes his girl out for a more innocent date of matinee movies involving rock-paper-scissors. Through the little things, Miguel flips into asking the other side of the question, “do you like love?” and gets deeper into what matters (common interest, trust, loneliness). “Do You…” is an easy-going jam to get to know a lover. But Miguel doesn’t forget to insert his pick-up line after all of this seductive encounter – “I wanna do you like drugs.”
DUD OF THE WEEK
5 / 10
The 2nd Law by Muse Genre: Alternative Rock Muse has aimed at a bigger position in Rock previously with The Resistance, turning their favored Prog. Rock into a rebellion opera. Though Muse has succeeded, if it’s actually a venture worth digging into is another question. For this year, Muse tries to top themselves in size by  trying everything they possibly can and apply everything to their stadium Rock. The result is a bombast madness that is The 2nd Law.

Muse launches the political spirit that powered The Resistance off the face of the earth. Packed in with ridiculous amounts of special effects, it’s more comforting to view The 2nd Law as some sci-fi Rock opera come to life than any serious manifesto.

Dramatic strings of “Supremacy” and its marching drums presents a cheeseball combo of Metallica’s chamber-metal fusion S&M and Star Wars opera grandeur. “Survival” snaps across theater pianos with a mystic choir then giving a majestic all-out Metal riff.

Muse doesn’t forget to bring the sci-fi to modern times, breaking it down with EDM drops in “Follow Me” and the closing dystopian mini Dubstep suite “The 2nd Law” that can rightfully be pointed as the final firework of the whole album. It’s a feat The 2nd Law manages not to implode after everything they try. Although Muse work out some commendable songs (“Madness,” “Animals”) it’s not enough to save this epic that’s too much for its own good.

*Check out: “Madness

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