Affixing my sweaty palms upon a window sill in preparation, I press play on the new Flux Pavilion album, Tesla– let’s have it Flux, I’m ready. From past experiences with the dubstep don, we have come to expect hard, dirt rinsed bass. We have come to expect wubs til he can wub no more. We have come to expect go hard, or go home slammers. If you’re left in any doubt as to who I'm referring to here, may I suggest you take a swizzle on ‘A Brief History of Flux’ below and rediscover 'Bass Cannon’, ‘I Can’t Stop’ and 'Do Or Die'. I'll wait here...tum-tee-tum....
All caught up? Dubstep till you die shit, yeah? Well, Tesla is here to teach us that the founder of Circus Records is more than capable of flipping the script. I would liken this album to one of those little cereal variety packs. Rip it open and you've got a carefully thought out range - some beaut classics, one or two that'll take a bit of warming to and a deliberate sprinkling of the naughty bits.
Trap simmers through the hearty dance floor trembler 'Vibrate', old school funk hop shows up in 'We Are Creators' and the writhing 'Never See The Light' featuring Andrea Martin forcefully slithers around your eardrums. Rapper Riff Raff (best depicted by James Franco in Spring Breakers) busts in the door for 'Who Wants To Rock' and sadly, makes your ass want to hit the floor in a bounce fit to bust the floorboards. Just me? Don't let that put you off - it's beautiful trashy goodness.
The disco house antics of 'Shoot Me', yeah I don't know how to feel about those but 'International Anthem' featuring Doctor and 'Emotional' are stand out tracks, channelling the first incarnation of Flux with his dubstep pants on to perfection. One's fast, one's slow - both make things happen to your heart. Palpitations or feels? Least you know you're alive right.'Feels Good'? Well, yes it does - but that's also the name of a pulsing collaboration with British singer-songwriter Tom Cane that does just that. And just when you think you're all up to speed with the new Flux, 'Ironheart' sashays in the door with his mate BullySong and closes Tesla down in a headfuck and a half which is perhaps, on reflection, actually my favourite track. Check it.
As much as I enjoy a right dubsteppy thumping, and while the bits lining my shelves still got a good old rattling, it will be interesting to see how the slightly different vibe of the new tunes transform the UK crowds. Tesla is on tour in North American currently and rumour is that Flux will head home sweet home to cover off the UK dance music capitals in April next year as the November tour has just been paused. His latest is definitely Flux in full fuck it, do what I want mode and personally, I like it, I respect it – but I'll need to see it in full motion before I'll know if I really love it. Roll on 2016!