Kenneth Christiansen's Echocord imprint presents a tight package that includes two of the best tracks taken off Fluxion's Perfused album from earlier this year, plus a dynamic remix of the title track from Deadbeat.
Following several years on hiatus, Fluxion has returned with a flurry of releases since 2009. Perfused was Konstantinos Soublis' second album in as many years and cemented his reputation for making ice cool dub-techno. Gaining praise as a collection of his most varied and vibrant tracks to date, the album found a new buoyancy and reduction of shadowy textures within his sound. Now, Echochord revisit the album's sound in a concise package.
"Perfuse" is a gently rolling, dub-techno masterpiece. It is a slow and pulsating track where the sound patterns emerge steadily into one huge organic movement. The sub bass is as deep as you can possibly go and each synth stab arrives with might and vigour. The Jamaican styled dub reggae of "Wabbler" looks back to the early influences of dub in this more unassuming track. It is a live track, recorded in only one take but still contains the depth of texture that is always present in Fluxion's work. Finishing the package is Deadbeat's up-tempo version of "Perfuse". The Canadian delivers a driving charge of dub-techno that pushes a fluid groove to the forefront of the track. With some intelligent spatial arrangements, this is one for connoisseurs of either dub or techno.
With releases on seminal dub techno imprints Chain Reaction and Echocord, Fluxion has long found himself entrenched within techno's dubbier folklore. Here Konstantinos Soublis presents a three track sampler of his forthcoming Traces LP, with the added bonus of Thomas Fehlmann's remix of "Desert Night". Fluxion enlists the teachings of the late Dennis Brown in "No Man Is An Island", pitching traditional dub reggae elements alongside dub techno sensibilities. The Chain Reaction stalwart then showcases his production prowess by eloquently symphonising the dubby and atmospheric mannerisms of "Desert Night" with an uber deep house groove, quite possibly sending Sven Weisemann scampering for his notebooks in the process. Throbbing wooden drums add weight to "Butiama" as chord stabs and synthesised horns shots rest upon subtle textures, lightly deepened by breathy pads and reverberating hats, proving once again that Echocord's elders have still got it.
The influence of Basic Channel and Chain Reaction can be heard on Traces, but unlike most dub techno, it sounds increasingly faint. The closest relation to the chugging, scuffled sound pioneered during the early to mid-90s comes on "Eruption", where gasping percussion and driving, metronome drums provide the basis for soulful synth lines and well-measured drops. "Motion 3" sees Fluxion adopt a jazzier approach with the drums in the background and sensuous chords to the fore, while for much of "Motion 2", Fluxion is in ambient mode, with widescreen sounds eventually giving way to a lazy rhythm. The Morphosis take on "Eruption" creates even more distance to dub techno, with squaling drones and crashing drums providing an unhinged counterpoint.
Those who've yet to check Konstantinos "Fluxion" Soublis' excellent Traces album are advised to give this third sampler EP a whirl. Like Soublis' previous work, these tracks inhabit the middle ground between claustrophobic dub techno, eyes-wide-shut ambience and understated electronica. "Memba" is the closest thing to a straightforward club track, though it comes smothered in the sort of stoned effects that make it impenetrable to those outside the dub techno sphere (it is, though, very good). Opener "Mood", in contrast, is almost blissful in its pursuit of quiet, sun-drenched solitude. "Burst Mode" sits somewhere in between, both unashamedly beautiful (particularly in the case of Convexion's spacious ambient remix) and hypnotically rhythmic.