|Cesar Montesano||4-August-2005||Me the Enemy|
'Me, the Enemy' takes off in classic progressive landscape mid-flight right at the outset with accentuated lines and an understated melody slowly developing over a backdrop of thoughtful and sharply sincere guitar.
Female vocals rise from the midst and begin to really let this tune soar. Recalling all the fine songstresses of a beautiful future past, she crests from this here hill, quieting down for a moment to let the song soften up before serving delicately lilting lyrics upon a cloudy precipice. This is further book-ended by heavenly notes being held in a loose fashion with ripely tasteful instrumentation before her voice clutches the words to be spurned out over a driving heavy progressive assault, flaring at the edges and bearing all the earmarks of how a crescendo should be delivered: hot on a roll and buttered.
'After the revolution,' tingling in with piano flourishes, introduces a romantic delivery. . . dreamy and soft to the touch. Cymbals of light tinkles belie the crushed guitar chords piercing in from the back of the mix as we alternate between swooning versus weaving in and out of the ocean created by the song. A very expansive feeling gotten from his one.
Nodding with thicker washes of synth (which have been actually taking place all along) a syncopated ballad becomes the heart of an opus delivery from the outfit. After two minutes, one feels that they have already run along with the breeze in 'Light of other Days.' The halfway point demarcated what would normally be in the middle of a side-long track. Over the span of six minutes, Fluxury has caught in its satchel what has taken progressive bands of the past an entire twenty minutes to compose. Replete with a chorus of male voices and sinuous interrogatory, like condensed milk, this is packed with sweet flavor.
Some jagged rocky beat stutters in right in afterwards showing a vibrancy full stride and aglitter with mesmerizing skyscape. Again, fluidity reigns supreme with another good dose of manna fired up saucer style. The band has netted the true sensibility of progressive rock in a short track, 'I Will be There.'
Closing out this titillating set is a crunchy heavy-guitar and more
interloped vocals from the a nice female voice taking care of the
duties. Jos has informed that this material is being polished and
revamped to the proper form that is envisioned in the group's
collective creative head for the 2005 release. We should all await this
crew's output with bated breath, they are pulling off a forward-moving
renaissance from the master styles we adore from the past. If you like
expertly executed expressive and emotional music, Fluxury has your
ticket and they will be on sale soon. After the fact, the title of this
will surely ring true in saying that 'Nothing's Safe,' it will also
apply to our sensibilities - am I having a flashback or has the world
opened up a time-warp for them to jump through and express the heart of
heady music discovered during the 70's by many a now worshipped group
breathing life into music again while reaching for the stars?
|Sjef Oellers||12-Aug-2003||Fluxury - Lunar Escape Velocity|
This first independent CD release by the Dutch band Fluxury comprises almost 79 minutes of demo recordings spread out over 22 tracks. At first Lunar Escape Velocity may seem a collection of unrelated pop songs with a strong symphonic edge, but repeated listening reveals that the 22 tracks together form a long suite based on a classical symphony with various themes and motifs returning and evolving. Within this (loose) framework, the band presents an eclectic mix of pop and symphonic rock subtley spiced with psychedelic, jazzy, and art rock elements. Throughout the CD there is a continuous tension between familiar pop/rock formats and more unusual compositional ideas, which gives Lunar Escape Velocity a fresh, idiosyncratic and unpredictable feel. The first tracks may be a bit disorienting for anyone expecting archetypal symphonic progressive rock. After a short introduction which actually suggests hazy electronic music, the CD starts with a few tracks of whimsical arty pop with understated vocals and sparse sounding instrumentation, vaguely recalling both Kevin Ayers and The Nits. The two-part "Look Up" may be the first familiar ground for the progressive rock listener. This track starts with a nice acapella intro, but soon it turns into up-tempo melodic progressive rock reminiscent of Caravan and Camel. The beautiful "Tucked Away" with its melancholic vocals recalls Gentle Giant or Hinn Islenski Thursaflokkur. The last five tracks seem to form a sub-identity on their own: "All I See" serves as a dreamy introduction to this mini-suite. "Hope Springs Eternal" is a rather gloomy, classical sounding piece with strings and piano dominating. "Anonymous Insomniac" is clearly the highlight within the mini-suite: it is something of a sound collage of other pieces, but still manages to evoke an identity of its own. The piece starts with quiet washes of dreamy keyboard lines, which are replaced by a new orchestral sounding theme. Next, variations of themes from earlier tracks appear, again with a typical hazy, slightly unsettling sound that characterises much of the band's sound on the album. This combination of (pseudo-)orchestral and hazy psychedelic sounds slowly builds to a climax of Beatles-esque orchestral mayhem. Excellent track. The next piece "In Silence We Trust" sounds like a continuation of "Anonymous Insomniac", but it lacks the hazy psychedelic elements and has a more direct and aggressive rock sound. "Coda" provides the CD with a short, moody ending with piano in the foreground (and musically referring back to both "All I See" and the introductory first track on the CD).
All in all, this is an ambitious debut that largely succeeds. However, I
am not always pleased with the performance of the vocalists. The vocals
sometimes sound a bit shaky and slightly out of tune. The band seems to be
aware of this problem as they tried out a variety of vocalists (and
combinations of vocalists) on the CD. In addition, the band produced the
CD themselves and in my opinion they did a decent job. Nonetheless, a more
professional production might help the band to get the most out of the
music. Lunar Escape Velocity contains refreshing music from a
promising band that obviously doesn't want to limit themselves to safe
areas of formalised progressive rock formulas.
|Mike McLatchey||19-July-2002||Fluxury - Lunar Escape Velocity
(Fluxury Music 001, 2001, CD)
Fluxury is a Dutch symphonic rock group that seems to have a cast of 11 musicians, although it's not clear how many of these play into the music at any given time. The music, over 22 (!) songs, presents a very relaxed and idiosyncratic music that reminds me of an updated version of English groups like England, Fruupp, Jonesy, etc. The comparison is meant to imply style rather than sonics, as Fluxury have a more updated sound. I can pick out at least two vocalists, one that reminds me of Supersister's and the high tenor is very close to that of Yezda Urfa's. What's nice about Fluxury is they don't drown out their music with a ton of chorale or symphonic patches and usually the music is accompanied by piano which helps to underscore the understated complexity of the compositions. It's certain that Fluxury are taking a step sideways with their music, which is refreshing, while lacking a bit in the area of dynamics. Of course this is easy to pin with such a long CD, as initial listens will likely turn the entirety into a major blur. Which is a symptom of the length - I can't choose any particular track that stands out, although conversely, I can't pick out any bad ones either. However, Fluxury are certainly a group to keep an eye out on, with a tighter CD and more memorable compositions, something inevitable with time, interest is sure to develop.
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