Perspectives by Fluxion
Dub Techno stalwart opens vistas anew
Konstantinos Soublis, aka Greek musician Fluxion, has circled the block often, working his delightful brand of organic rhythms for more than twenty years. In that time he's given us eight albums and many landmark singles and EPs, each helping to define further the shape of Dub Techno. And with each new release his approach to making music has proved extensible, appending and extracting elements with subtle expertise, even though the Dub Techno blueprint he has loyally worked from remains at its core.
From early, seminal tracks on Chain Reaction, via his Vibrant Forms albums, he's explored many facets of rhythmic bass music, from Reggae (with Jamaican vocalist Teddy Selassie) to House and Techno. Perspectives is his ninth and (by his own admission) most personal album yet. Awash with aquatic samples, delicate melody and deep, gently reverberating bass, everything is cloaked in a sombre mood, compelling and soothing. According to the press blurb, Soublis approached the album at a time of necessary change in his life:
There are moments in every artistic path, where instead of following a concept, an instinct, a theorem, music becomes the tool that allows you to see and reflect more clearly on your own feelings.
Music has this unique ability to talk straight to your inner world, and doesn’t necessarily request the process and the complexities of an analytical mind in order to be understood..It can just be felt.
I concur. Perspectives is music that demands little analysis, like pulling on your favourite old jumper, feeling comfortable is effortless. It's warm, textured and immersive music with a fuggy, four-on-the-floor beat underpinning (most) tracks. Within is the first key moment with its melancholy organ/synth melody, emerging from an archetypal Dub reverb. And then, guaranteed with each listen, there's a brief moment of self-realisation on fourth track Glimpses, an awareness of the music having drifted across border, with a rising, mournful cello. And Glimpses II that follows soon after achieves the same effect, this time drunken tablas and a swaying motion nudging your conscious.
Straying from the Dub Techno template is when Soublis excels. Dawn, with it's Jazzy piano chords and finger-clicking rhythm would fit in well on Jazz-O-Tech records. Down The Line shifts perspective with lapping water and a finger-picking guitar line. And leaving the best to last, emotions run riot as the closing three tracks play out. Distance is easily the highlight, with its wavering melody built on a skeletal broken Dub beat. Understated strings sit alongside single notes as they ricochet in a circular fashion, while piano chords and a steady beat combine to glorious effect on Cliff. And closer Promise ends with a rousing flourish with a picked, reverb-laden bass guitar building to a crescendo.
There's an evergreen facade to Fluxion's music, always reinventing and reenergising. You think you've heard it all before but it's still fresh and relevant.