Flux by Judean Radiostatic (Review)

Flux is a beautiful, dark mixture of industrial electronica.
Flux - Judean Radiostatic

The long-awaited album from Denver’s Judean Radiostatic has finally arrived. The trials and tribulations of life presented many obstacles for the duo, as they informed me during an interview back in July of 2000. Flux should have been available over a year ago, but everything from laryngitis to production caused a lengthy delay that finally ended in April of this year. The wait was not in vain, however. Carlos and Melinda, or Blaze and Blue (stage names), have released an effort worthy of their blood and sweat.

Flux is a beautiful, dark mixture of industrial electronica. Brutal beats create the foundation for each track as ambient keys give off an uncanny aura and give each song a haunted feel. The harsh, chilling vocals of Carlos intensify the darkness as he frighteningly whispers words and occasionally allows screams to escape. Melinda’s voice, no less dark, adds an eerie beauty to the track “Valley of Bones.” Unfortunately, her voice isn’t more present on the album, except as backing vocals. At any rate, the vocals of Carlos provide intensity throughout the album, and if the words weren’t so blatantly Christian, they could be misconstrued as evil.

Brutally honest and powerful lyrics based on Biblical passages is the method by which Judean Radiostatic reveals and shares their faith. The song “Beast” refers to the horrifying monster we all create inside that blinds us and distracts us from truth. “Know” is about the shame felt when throwing truth away to be accepted by the world. “Poisoned” refers to the way in which our words can become just as strong. The lyrics are black and white, honest and meaningful, things which much of today’s material lacks.

The electronics induce a futuristic Matrix feel and are also quite reminiscent of the Dust Brothers’ Fight Club soundtrack. This is most obvious on “PS 103,” “March of the Demons,” and “The Horsemen Ride.” The synths develop a robotic doom followed by lashing beats. The sci-fi sounds conjure up old movies where computers take over the world à la Man Or Astroman?. The electronics definitely add a spaced-out feel over beats that can at times be described as clubby. The album is by no means a cheesy techno mix, but one that might be heard in the late hours at a club (should you be so lucky). Overall, Flux is spirituality released as unusually blistering truth laid down over aggressive poundings and forceful synths.

Written by Nolan Shigley.

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