By Tye Musante
Flux Pavilion’s heavily anticipated debut studio album,”Tesla,” has finally hit the shelves, and it does not disappoint. Long-time fans will appreciate the fact that Flux rarely deviates from his signature, bass-heavy sound. Newcomers, on the other hand, will notice slight experimentations among the albums thirteen tracks ranging from disco to deep-house to reggaeton. What results is a debut album that adheres both to the sensibilities of his long-time community of fans and to the ever-changing and increasingly dynamic world of mainstream EDM.
Tesla opens with the growing sounds of a lightning ball or a plasma globe, keeping with the album’s electric theme. The first track after the intro, “Vibrate”, opens with a hip-hop beat before transitioning into Flux’s signature down-tempo dubstep sound. “We Are Creators”, assisted by Soulsonic Force, is backed by an old-school groove that is quickly chopped up and transformed into a glitch-inspired house drop. Andrea Martin lends his somewhat forgettable vocals to “Never See The Light”, a sinister banger with a filthy twist.
The lead single, reggaeton-inspired International Anthem falls short of achieved the status it’s title implies, but brings enjoyable vibes largely reminiscent of Skrillex & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley’s jam Make It Bun Dem and Rage Valley era Knife Party. Flux teams up with Big Voyage on the deep-house Shoot Me, which features a surprise trumpet hook and some of the best vocals on Tesla courtesy of JakkCity, who could easily give Guy Sebastian a run for his money. “What You Gonna Do About It” packs a powerful punch straight from the beginning, channeling The Prodigy and Nero with its vintage video-game style synths and showing off Flux’s skill for dropping the bass out of nowhere and building it back up even stronger.
Pogo People also channels a bit of The Prodigy, specifically their 1995 single Poison. Flux teams up with EDM vocal superstar Matthew Koma, noteworthy for his collaborations with electro kings Zedd, Tiesto and Steve Aoki, on the lukewarm track Emotional. Tom Cane lends his vocals to “Feels Good,” a disco-infused, show-stopping banger sprinkled with a sparingly used strings arrangement. Surprisingly, even the perplexing Riff Raff shines on “Who Wants To Rock,” thanks to Flux’s production finesse. “I Got Something” falls short of greatness due to repetitive and uninspired lyrics and lackluster vocal hooks, despite its infectious use of horns, but orchestral closer track Ironheart featuring BullySongs redeems the album and ends it on a high note.
By moving away from pure dubstep and dipping his toe into the waters of mainstream EDM, Flux creates an album that deviates from his original style just enough to grab our attention Despite cringeworthy songwriting and mostly forgettable vocal performances from its featured vocalists, “Tesla” effectively fuses Flux’s seasoned dubstep past with his potential future in the broader world of electronic dance music.
Tye Musante is a Contributing Writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org