Cool Hand Fluke
jFluke are Cocktail Techno’s imysterious maestros, studio rats whose hidden agenda is the incorporation of the big band sound into their fruity new single. Craig McLean is at a (Joe) loss.
‘We always seem to do slightly happier records. son of summery. to be heard at six o‘clock in the morning when you're leaving a club.’
Greet the new dawn of new age rave music? Is this what Fluke are and what Fluke do'.’ Late night/early morning trance technicians. fashioners of post- Balearic beats and those pre-natal womb with a view- type soundscapes‘.’ Well. only ifJoni Mitchell. Tears For Fears. Talk Talk. James Last and Joe Loss are the prime movers for such prime groovers. As they’re not. we can deduce that Fluke are just Fluke. and any association with the ‘vibed-up’. ‘loved-up' vernacular of club culture's (supposedly) clued—up cognoscenti is merely. yes. a fluke. And unfortunate.
‘We‘ve always been into the more different edges of electronic dance music.‘ mUses vocalist and cellist t!) Jon Fugler. blandly. He talks of the genesis of Fluke. in the heady days of acid and summers of love and the creeping emergence of eurotechno as a cultural force to be reckoned with. He offers a well-worn | snapshot of the liberating glee to be had from dance 1 music and the attendant technology. Fluke secreted ; themselves in London studios. trod the usual white label route. Both factors guaranteed anonymity and mystique. factors that still. in the run—up to Fluke‘s third album. make for a visually impoverished and aurally opulent technosoul outfit. Fluke are different.
‘We just like looking for different sorts of references from everyone else. There‘s tons of interesting things you can swipe things from. Joe Loss and James Last are our big ones just now. the big kind of orchestral. concert hall band — a cracking sound.
‘We like production.‘ Jon says matter-of-factly. ‘We just like the idea of records that sound nice. Aural treats.
their breakthrough single of 1990. a state-of-the-art pulser that incongruously paid homage to the classic seventies sound of Philadelphia.
4 ‘You're coming out of the club at six in the morning l and going home. you just feel on top of the world.
i And that just conjures up images of turning on your radio to all these middle of the road programmes that you get on Saturday mornings. and hearing a bit of
: nice. happy. shimmering string music.‘ Hence
i The white label route (from August 1989's
j ‘Thumper’ via ‘Joni' and a release from Fluke’s ﬁalter-ego The Lucky Monkeys. up to a remix of
58 The List 26 February—l 1 March I993
“Philly‘ was our most summery vibe.’ he reckons of
‘Thumper') led to the indie footpath. Creation released The YET/mo Ruse ()fB/iglzty in February 1991 — a big and bolshy mini-album of largely instrumental and wholly locomotive techno. And i jazz. lt swung.
‘There’s tons of interesting things you can swipe things trom. Joe Loss and
5 James Last are our big ones just now, the
i big kind of orchestral, concert hall band
i - a cracking sound.’
‘We had a dozen or so songs. and of those we had half of them we thought it would be nice to put out somehow. And Alan McGee was getting Creation into dance music. We didn't want to sign to Creation.
1 but we asked if he wanted to release one single (‘Philly') and one album (. . . Bliglzry). just as a one—
off little project which is what most of our stuff had
been up until then anyway. self-contained little projects and ideas. And it didn't cost him a fortune. it
i set us up with what we needed. and set us on the way
to the kind of deal we wanted if we were going to
i sign up with anybody.
; ‘We didn‘t want to go into a bigger deal or the kind
that would tie us up for a while.‘ Jon adds. since
Fluke are llighty. They want to move quickly. ‘get things out of the way'. and move on. On and ()ur. That album. released last year on new home Circa. was live and wild. recorded at a summer all-nighter
I called New Moon Rising at a stately home in Kent. The faceless boffins. the clinical technotc)rats. proved they could cut it unplugged from the cossetting environs of the studio. ()u! too. was epic and swinging. featuring clarinets and saxophones and
j cellos (or the electronic likenesses thereof). It was
l like Jeeves & Wooster‘s parping cocktail jazz
soundtracking a trans-litiropean car chase. Yello without the Swiss cheese. a soundtrack without a film. Widescrcen dance music that was image-rich and almost tactile.
New single ‘Slid‘ is the get-up-and-go follow-up. very gorgeous. sensual some say. For the first time Fluke have employed an outside remixer. Justin Robertson. and have upped the vocal ante. moving away (slightly) from their previous instrumental obliqueness. But still it has mystique and is suffused in a haze of. . .
‘We like to make puffing mLIsic.‘ nods Jon.
‘Pufftng — sit down and skin up.‘
Gotcha. Fluke. they ain‘t no dopes. Their next single. by the way. is called ‘lilectric Guitars'. Iixpect the unexpected.
'Slid ' is released on (War on 8 Mar.
‘3‘“; ‘\ ‘3.“ t“