Noise 101 – CD Reviews for Oct. 4
Until the Quiet Comes
A strange reflection is made when one first learns that experimental electronic L.A. producer Flying Lotus is a great-nephew to American jazz legend John Coltrane.
Inclinations to casually compare the two non-blood kin came at FlyLo’s peak, as in 2010 when the hype of Cosmogramma left many in awe and others scratching their heads.
In a surprising follow-up, Flying Lotus finds his way not further gliding down a dizzying spiral staircase of futuristic beats, but instead opting to sink his parachute down the middle of the flights. Until the Quiet Comes boasts a much simpler, assured direction than his previous body of work, and all the more enticing.
His highly textured production and signature zany bass sounds share the stage with Thom Yorke (Electric Candyman) and Erykah Badu (See Thru To U) on a release full of little grain tracks coming together as a bigger, quicksand scenario that is easy to sink into.
— Martine Balcaen
To our dismay, the follow-up to the successful 2009 release of Sigh No More, Mumford & Sons’ Babel, gives us yet a reason to sigh. Perhaps it’s their signature composition of starting a song gently and then immediately proceeding to pile on the harmonies while jacking off a banjo. Every. Single. Song. Another gripe might be with their questionable sentiments; while it may be unromantic to vociferously hawk a thesaurus, Mumford & Sons’ tired use of their same little anthology of the same anecdotes and overdone idioms crown them with the appeal of receiving a blank Hallmark card from your lover. It reeks with an uncomfortable lack of emotional authenticity. There are, of course, those who will still enjoy this album for the sheer glamour of the rugged Londoner’s accent — a good crutch to lean on to seduce your unabashedly cultured American fans. For the rest of us, Babel’s a pebble in the bottom of the indie folk shoe we regret ever wearing to the mainstream.
— Martine Balcaen
Who Needs Who
Supply and Demand
With their third album, Dark Dark Dark shows that with the growth they had as people, it also reflects their music. Band co-founders Nona Marie Invie and Marshall LaCount went through a very public breakup, to which many assumed would be the end of the band. After taking a hiatus, they came back with the intentions and desire to make music and Who Needs Who is that much better for it. As far as breakup albums goes, this one hits all the right notes, with songs like Tell Me reminiscing better parts of their time together and the haunting Patsy Cline admitting that their faults are just too much to continue. While still retaining all the unique instrumentation their band has come to love, this has become Invie’s show, with her singing vocals all on the tracks for the first time in band history. She drives the album, and the rest of the band follows suit in a more-than-complimentary manner. Overall, Who Needs Who is yet another step forward for the Minneapolis band.
— Nathan Ross