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Fluxury - Lunar Escape Velocity

Fluxury - Lunar Escape VelocityThe name Fluxury apparently stems from a poem about observing nature by Jim Miller.  The band who adopted the name stem from The Netherlands and for this album at least, base their music on what they have learnt from prog bands of the 70’s and classical masters of previous centuries.  Combined on occasions with an element of ‘poppiness’ and sound experimentation makes this a difficult album to review or indeed draw comparisons.  However, I enlisted the faithful ear of my colleague Danny Mayo and we have both listened to Lunar Escape Velocity many times over the last fortnight in order to try and get a handle on the work.

Fluxury, I think it is fair to say, revolves around two main musicians, Jan Kuipers and Jos Witsenburg.  They are joined by nine other talented musicians (a couple of whom have now left the band unfortunately) on this album, which runs for approximately 72 minutes.

Lunar Escape Velocity consists of 22 tracks some of which are very short.  The short tracks sometimes provide a reprise of the major recurrent musical theme and at other times just a musical interlude or minor change in direction.  At the beginning or end of certain tracks, whistle and pop sound effects, pertaining to the sounds heard in between transmissions from astronaut and mission control, can be quite spooky.  Although Fluxury on this album at least cannot be compared with any other band, there are elements that sound familiar; On occasions, the bass guitar (is it a fretless?) could easily be that of Camel’s Colin Bass; The main male vocalist sounds like a cross between a Dutch Peter Skellern and the chap who used to sing for The New Vaudeville Band, which takes a few tracks to get used to; Lead guitar on ‘Volatile’ is similar to that on Camel’s Nude album; Other recognisable snippets include a passage of five notes from Genesis’ One For The Vine, a spooky but humorous Chim Chiminee from Mary Poppins and towards the end of the album, part of the tune The Female Of The Species by Space.  I must reiterate that apart from the aforementioned, the album cannot be compared to Camel, Genesis, Space or indeed any other band.  A recurring theme loosely holds it all together which along with a rather seductive female lead vocal similar to but not the same as that of Maddy Prior, and great male and female harmonies. 

I admit, I struggled to decide if I liked the album, but it grew on me.  To describe it as nice and relaxing would perhaps be doing it an injustice.  Strangely, I must have played it about 20 times yet I have not become bored with it.  On the contrary, I found it quite endearing.  Only 500 copies have been pressed and at a measly 12 Euros (by bank transfer only – no credit cards, see site) it is likely to become very collectable.

Here’s what Danny Mayo had to say about it:

To put this in a box of musical labels would be very difficult, there are so many styles ranging from Jazz to Folk and down the rock path too. There is also a little progressive thrown in for good measure. The male vocals are typically European and there are parts when a female voice reminds us of Maddy Prior.

The musicianship is very good, and the bass really sticks out, very Jazz sounding. At times you wonder if this is a compilation album because every track is different, at times it gets you down a path, then back again, then down another path.

I would say they have put a lot of time and effort into this and put together all their influences into a pot and this is the end result.

As I stated earlier, it is very Jazz, and it is what you would expect to go and see at a Jazz club. I would like to see these live one day myself, the album is very good, it keeps your attention on full alert all the time, and you would on the whole put it down as a mellow album, similar to Coldplay and late period King Crimson.

A pleasing effort, it should sell quite well, and I would be interested to hear their next effort.

I think you can safely say we like it even if we don’t quite know why!

Jem Jedrzejewski & Danny Mayo


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