Fluxion’s first album, Vibrant Forms, has long been my favorite release on Chain Reaction. (Considering the high quality of the entire catalog, that’s saying a lot.) Unfortunately, Konstantinos Soublis has yet to live up to that debut.
It should come as no surprise that Fluxion’s first album for Echocord starts with a solid dub techno track, but he soon strays from that style. “Waves” is perhaps best described as tech house. It toys with a strange skipping sound which, while unique, doesn’t quite hold up to eight minutes of repetition. “Tantalizer” also feels repetitive without being hypnotic. It pummels with kicks and dense, dry digital synths. Around the three-minute mark a single chord starts repeating at the beginning of each measure. Imagine someone playing that part live for an amusing image. Unfortunately, “Inflection” is similarly bland.
“Wabbler” is at least something different. It is obviously reggae-influenced, but when the bassline doubles up I get the feeling Soublis isn’t sure where to take it. “Elation” dips back into dub techno territory. Bendy notes and strange voice-like blips lighten the mood. The last three tracks are even more traditional. “Fluctuations” is the strongest of the bunch.
With so many new takes on dub, including dubstep (to which I’m slowly warming), Fluxion’s approach seems decidedly odd. This might not be a fair assumption, but I get the feeling Soublis isn’t listening to a wide range of music. Vibrant Forms was informed by Basic Channel. Perfused seems inspired by Echospace. While there’s a smattering of new sounds here, the tracks never escape the constraints of four-on-the-floor repetition. I would love to hear Soublis experiment with new tempos and time signatures. Better progression within each track (and perhaps a little melody) wouldn’t hurt either.