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Flying Lotus, Erykah Badu go abstract with single 'See Thru To U'

August 16, 2012|By Todd Martens
  • Flying Lotus in 2009.
Flying Lotus in 2009. (Axel Koester / For The Times…)

Steven Ellison, better known in the experimental world of electronic music by his Flying Lotus alter-ego, has turned to an old friend for the first single off his forthcoming album "Until the Quiet Comes." The eccentric, blissfully in-her-own-orbit R&B star Erykah Badu lends her vocals to the album's "See Thru To U." 

Though not officially billed as a "single" (at least in the disposable, radio-friendly sense of the term), the track is available for purchase Thursday on iTunes, and an abstract video is embedded below. Badu doesn't quite take center-stage on the track. Her vocals, at times distorted and manipulated, roll and squirm around the jazzy arrangement, as if the song's structure is constantly in motion rather than strictly defined.

The song marks the first peek at Flying Lotus' follow-up to his acclaimed 2010 effort "Cosmogramma," an album that at times took the uncomfortable sounds of a respirator machine and turned them into sonic reveries built for late-night reflection, and it builds upon that album's loose mix of electronic and organic instrumentation. Is this a jazz song? A club song? It's somewhere in the middle, and it's definitely trippy. 

Also guesting on the album: Laura Darlington, Niki Randa, Thundercat and, once again, Radiohead's Thom Yorke. "Until the Quiet Comes" will be released Oct. 2 via Warp Records.

Before that, Flying Lotus will be appearing with Animal Collective at the Hollywood Bowl on Sept. 23 for a show that should shed more light on his new album, which he recently described on Twitter as being influenced by Stereolab, Portishead and prog rockers Gentle Giant.

In October he starts a North American tour at New York's Terminal 5, and he'll work his way back west with an Oct. 25 date at the Fox Theatre in Oakland, which marks his only California gig. However, as one of the driving forces behind the Low End Theory club, there's little doubt he'll be popping up on stages around town with regularity before too long. 

Listen to the song below, and get a look at the tracklist after the clip.

Here is the tracklist for "Until The Quiet Comes."

  1. "All In"
  2. "Getting There" with Niki Randa
  3. "Until the Colours Come"
  4. "Heave(n)"
  5. "Tiny Tortures"
  6. "All the Secrets"
  7. "Sultan's Request"
  8. "Putty Boy Strut"
  9. "See Thru to U" with Erykah Badu
  10. "Until the Quiet Comes"
  11. "DMT Song" with Thundercat
  12. "The Nightcaller"
  13. "Only if You Wanna"
  14. "Electric Candyman" with Thom Yorke
  15. "Hunger" with Niki Randa
  16. "Phantasm" wiith Laura Darlington
  17. "me Yesterday//Corded"
  18. "Dream to Me"


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