Go Galaxy Hopping with NTHNL’s Cosmic Flute Rides Again

By Deuce

Picture rocketing through the galaxy (or galaxies), transported at warp speed in the Millennium Falcon. You’ve got stars streaming by you, life itself spreading out and funneling into the great beyond and your eyes, your ears, taking it all in and suddenly, as the craft itself begins to shudder and existence wins over, you feel the ride coming to a close, supernovas cascading and slowing.

Now, what’s the first thing you experience as you look about, attempting to gather what’s left of yourself into one piece?

Flute. Or, flute almighty, perhaps. The strains of flute emerging from the void, played in its primal incarnation, raw, jagged, and, most of all, cosmically. A voyage into NTHNL’s Cosmic Flute Rides Again provides such a transporting, surreal experience aurally, in a way that the metaverse likely never will.

All of the foresaid sights, sounds, smells, and sonic sensations emerge simply from playing this album. Hell, they manifest about two minutes into the first track, “Prelude (Cosmic Flute Ride)”. Duke is straight up getting down on that wind instrument. As in damaging it. Funking it up. On tracks in which likely the only thing acoustic is his flute, in the post EDM era in which electronica reigns, the drums are heady, the snares extra crispy and the bass buxom, by far the loudest, most eminent, and dominant sound on damn near any of these tunes is this artist’s flute.

Doesn’t really matter what cut it’s on; it dominates the soundscape in volume, speed, adroitness, and sheer passion. Honestly, even those well accustomed to The Music, AKA the real jazz, none of this elevator, slow-song-in-the-movie-while-they’re-in-the-sheets-stuff, had better strap on their seatbelts before testing this album. Check money out on “Neon Flow”. He’s easily doing the sort of things Charles Lloyd did in his heyday and so much more, because it’s with the contemporary technology and backed by tracks preoccupied with electronic sounds and their ghetto feel.

Nonetheless, the human being, the wind pouring forth from the artist and perhaps inhaled from the empyrean or the cosmos, as the album implies, is by far the most riveting aspect of these songs. This is no algorithm, nothing too pre-rehearsed, or even composed. Naw, dude’s just busting on here. Hard, with that cosmic flute of his.

Not only is it a wonder to behold, but it’s as rare as the Millenium Falcon itself.   

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