Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who are the best instrumentalists of them all? The answer is Flux! Flux are a truly unique band made up of six incredibly versatile musicians playing a wide range of instruments – Shammi Pithia (Bansuri & Percussion), Michael Goodey (Piano and Guitar), Preetha Narayanan (Violin), Salima Barday (Double & Electric bass), Suroj Sureshbabu (Guitars), Ian Newton-Grant (Drums). The band is launching a full scale EP later today (July 6th, 2012). I had the privilege of previewing the album ahead of time, and have got my review ready for all you readers.
“Mirror” is a reflection of many moods and vibes. The songs are all perfectly named as they all create a mood reminiscent of the name of the track. I am always in an eternal quest to find music that has a multi-dimensional quality to it. That’s exactly what I found in “Mirror”. You could tell that a lot of thought went into the choice of instruments on the tracks and the timing of when each instrument was added. This texturing was a success for the majority of the album. Most tracks have perfect fluidity, but there a couple that have a vibe that clashes with the other tunes.
Overall, you’ll find that this album is the perfect collection of songs to listen to any time you want to relax. It is a must have for anyone who loves music.
OVERALL RATING: 4.5/5
Track 1 – Mirror 5/5
It is rare to find an instrumental track that has so many layers that fit seamlessly together. “Mirror” is just such a rare track. The music is soothing to hear and the instruments – from the piano, to percussion, to flute, guitar, and violin – are added at just the right moments in the song. The song felt very fluid. It was a very unusual track, which at times evoked almost a Celtic vibe and at others an Oriental vibe. Yet, this unique quality about it is what makes it a home run. The violin especially was a stand out in this song.
Track 2 – Solid State 3.5/5
“Solid State” is another ‘solid’ number on the album! I took off 1 point because the honky tonk style piano 2.45 min into the song combined with the electric guitar felt a bit jarring. It was also odd when the melody suddenly changes into a grunge vibe 3 minutes into the track after the slow jazzy intro. The harshness of the tune there did not seem to flow well from the smooth melody the track begins with. However, the flute, which is played so well, saved the tune from total destruction.
Track 3 – Boiling Point 4/5
“Boiling Point” is the first track on the album to which vocals have been added. The vocals do add to the mood and the sense of pressure and a boiling point building up. However, perhaps because this track followed two instrumentals, the vocals seemed to completely overpower the track. The song is well done, however, and the vocals are indeed powerful.
Track 4 – Piece By Piece 5/5
The opening alaap in “Piece By Piece” is the perfect companion to the simple instrumentation in the intro. Unlike some other tracks, the transitions between instruments and melodies were seamless in this tune. The violin and vocals were like soul mates to each other. Even though this track is one of the longer ones on the album, it makes you wish it would never end. The focus on the flute at around 5 minutes, adds the extra ‘umph’ to the track. No complaints on this one.
Track 5 – In Time – 5/5
“In Time” is a piano-heavy song that comes at the perfect time on the album. The piano, violin, percussion, and especially the flute, are perfectly meshed. This track has no vocals, which was a good choice, since the only companion this track needs is a sunset by the beach! Pure perfection.
Track 6 – For Now At – 4.5/5
“For Now At” is one of the shorter songs on the album, timing out at 2:17. It’s a good interlude, but leaves you wanting more – hence the deduction of .5. The flute and guitar sound well with one another and is another soothing track.
Track 7 – Thirty Five – 4/5
“Thirty Five” is a great track, but the instrumentation makes you feel a bit restless with its opening frenetic pace. Perhaps if the track had been placed earlier in the album, it may have worked wonders. However, following a couple of slow jams like “For Now At” and “In Time”, which completely relax the mind and body, the fast opening is especially jarring. The pace does slow down around 2 minutes into the track, but some of the other tracks on the album are even better than this song.
Overall – Flux is an excellent album and is out now! So, what are you waiting for? Go download it now to experience one of the most relaxing musical journeys you will have!