Flux Pavilion talks .wav and his newfound freedom ‘from whatever Flux had been in the past’ [Interview]
Flux Pavilion’s .wav has come, but it has not broken. Ahead of his February 5 livestream on Moment House, during which he will perform the album with live instrumentals and vocals, the titan took the time to speak with Dancing Astronaut about the upcoming show, .wav, and a writing process shaped by intuitively feeling the music.
After the 2015 release of Flux’s debut LP, Tesla, fans would wait six years for his sophomore studio album. The project was originally slated to land in January 2020, an entire year before its eventual release on January 21, 2021. Questions arose regarding whether the postponement resulted in changes to the album’s structure, but the choice to push back .wav‘s release date wasn’t largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but rather because it just wasn’t ready. Flux told Dancing Astronaut,
“This album took as long as it did because I just didn’t want to rush past any moment, I wanted to make sure I had invested myself in every moment. I feel like as a society, we have got into the habit of trying to maximize efficiency and keep progressing and growing, sometimes to the detriment to our wellbeing. I just wanted to slow down and see what taking my time feels like.
Much of the album making process included deleting entire songs that simply didn’t feel right. “The album was done when I asked myself if this was the music that needed to be heard and the answer was, unquestionably, ‘yes,'” he explained.
Early in the English producer’s career, the focus had been not so much on curating a deeply intentional album; instead, the aim was to churn out music for the masses and then play it live. “Years of touring and trying to keep up with everyone else just left me pretty exhausted,” Flux said.
“I decided to just write music, with no aim other than it being sincere to how I was feeling on the day. This led me to explore my tools more than anything and I started really connecting with my equipment; each day spent having conversations with synthesizers and pieces of gear.”
This connection would inspire Flux to use analogue synthesizers throughout .wav, prompting him to do away with a more one-dimensional digital route. This choice can be traced back to the emotional response he receives from the equipment: “When I use analogue equipment I can feel it more, which often means I write a lot more,” he said.
Playing live is a critical goal for most producers, and it’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered their ability to connect with their audiences. By teaming up with the visual innovators at Moment House, which helps artists create ticketed, digital experiences, Flux hopes to bridge this gap as much as possible with his .wav livestream, and bring his listeners together through art, technology, quality design, and exciting user experiences. Broadcasting to all of North and South America as well as Asia Pacific and Europe, the .wav live show will represent Flux in live form as he’s never been seen before, and fan-submitted audio submissions are just one part of the stream’s novelty.
The producer, born Joshua Steele, stated,
“[I’ll be] using the fans submissions to interact with visuals and create something more organic and unique than is possible with just technology. It’s like my fans are giving the show its own soul, a collaboration in spirit.”
This whole show is about breaking through the dimensions of a stage and expanding on the levels of hyperfantasy we can create.”
Concluding the sonic renaissance that is .wav with his favorite tracklisting, “LOVE,” Flux feels that he has “turned over a stone and found a species [he’s] never seen before, and [he] needed time to study it.”
Moving beyond curating music for mass appeal or made to appease others, Flux Pavilion has finally honed in on the sound that feels true to him. And, while old Flux was exciting in a different way and exactly what dance music needed in the moment in that 2010 to 2015 span, this new sound has comfortably wriggled its way into the hearts of fans across the world while the man behind the moniker has never felt more liberated.
“I felt fundamentally free from whatever Flux had been in the past. Writing this album feels like more than a new chapter, it feels like a whole new book,” he said.
Tune in to Flux Pavilion’s .wav livestream at 4:00 p.m. EST / 7:00 p.m. PST on February 5; more information and tickets are available here.
Featured image: Fiona Garden