‘Monolith’, the highly anticipated debut album from hfn music’s latest signings Fluqx - aka Joel Krozer & Brian Della Valle - arrives in March, and it’s been worth the wait.
Comprising producer-engineer Joel Krozer and Brian Della Valle, the Copenhagen based duo got together when Joel heard Brian (singer-songwriter of Of The Valley) recording in the studio below his. Their encounter led to a series of late-night recording sessions, together with collaborator Søren Holme, that quickly became the cornerstone of their partnership and the formation of Fluqx.
“Since the birth of Fluqx it was always on the cards to create a coherent album early on,” explains Krozer. “The concept became a reality after looking through the rolls of film I shot in Oaxaca, Mexico a few years back. They had a certain feeling that reminded me of finding something long lost or discovering something unseen in vast open spaces. They became the inspiration for the textures of many of the tracks that we had already composed in their primitive form.”
The sound of Fluqx is distinct - a merging of deeply warped synthesizers, swirling textures and Brian’s affecting vocals. ‘Here’ starts the journey - a typically dynamic production that features beguiling synth melodies, crunchy drums and 80s in uenced new wave / pop hooks. Last year’s first single, ‘Vanishing Point’ is up next - a perfect example of Fluqx’s use of desolate synth landscapes contrasted with intimate vocal deliveries over vast drum patterns.
“Half way through the recording of ‘Monolith’ I went on another trip that led to a lot of the visual material used for the album artwork and videos,” explains Joel Krozer. “I spent five days in the desert of Bolivia looking for more material that fit the aforementioned themes and ended up finding more existential situations than anticipated - caused by the extremely limited supplies and ongoing altitude sickness... My favorite shots were those of objects that didn’t at first seem to belong in the landscape, creating an otherworldly contrast. That’s also where the title ‘Monolith’ came from. I knew immediately it should be the name of the album and deep down also knew Brian would agree. We had already worked together for quite a while at this point and rarely ran into differences with these things.“
“The title track ‘Monolith’ itself originally came about as a piano vamp. Yet, it was lacking in that feeling of vast, untouched grounds so I replaced it with resampled guitars through a reverse delay, a technique often used on the Kraut records that I grew up with. I have a library of records and visuals in my head and often connect these with what I work on.“
There is a versatile range of sounds and atmospheres across these twelve tracks - from the delicate arpeggios of ‘Carvings’ and ‘Ephemeral Objects’, to the massive drum sounds and cutting synth leads of ‘Monolith’ and ‘Hanami’. Della Valle’s warm falsetto navigates through this dynamic landscape with ease and hooks the listener in on tracks like ‘Feather’ and ‘Staring At The Sun’, whilst providing space to breathe on tracks like ‘Here‘ and ‘Golden Hour‘. Elsewhere, ambient, droney textures are at the forefront on ‘Mojave Booth’ and ‘Diamond Dust’, maintaining the dreamy, otherworldly nature of the Fluqx sound.
vinyl & digital 06.03.2020 hfn music