Dubstep icon Flux Pavilion has released Blow the Roof, his first EP since 2010’s Lines in Wax. It’s an eight track EP featuring an inspiring mix of divergent bass music, with complimentary vocals from Sway, P Money, Childish Gambino, and Steele himself. While Flux teased a generous selection of originals off Blow the Roof prior to the EP’s release, it was difficult to formulate an opinion on each track without seeing them in their broader context. Upon reviewing Blow the Roof, however, it is quite evident that this not just another slew of disparate ‘bangers’ — rather, Blow the Roof has the type of cohesion and format typically reserved for an LP.
Blow the Roof isn’t perfect by any means, but it’s damn impressive. From Flux’s surprisingly enticing singing voice, to his experimentation with trap and breaks, Blow the Roof is the mark of a producer with more than a few tricks up his sleeve. Click past the break for a track by track review of Flux Pavilion’s brand new Blow the Roof EP.
Flux Pavilion – OneTwoThree (Make Your Body Wanna)
Flux opens the EP with “OneTwoThree (Make Your Body Wanna),” a funky original with clearcut trap influence. Its nasally bassline and both deep and high pitched transposed voices give the track an uncanny Flux Pavilion flavor. This isn’t the first time he’s experimented with trap — recently releasing a trap VIP of “Jump Back,” his dubstep collaboration with Skism and Foreign Beggars.
Flux Pavilion – The Scientist
“The Scientist” is quite possibly the EP’s best track. Opening with an oriental string riff and a catchy verse from Flux himself, “The Scientist” is instantly appealing. The drop features Flux’s clean, tingling bass resonance that dubstep fans fell in love with back in late 2010. Fans will remember this isn’t the first time Flux has sang on a track. Back in 2010, Flux contributed his own vocals to both “Voscillate” and “Night Goes On.”
Flux Pavilion – Double Edge feat. Sway and P Money
Boasting a faster tempo and obliquely anarchist lyrics, “Double Edge” is immediately reminiscent of Rage Against the Machine. Flux, a self-proclaimed RATM fan, has enlisted the wily wordplay of Sway and P Money for “Double Edge,” collectively creating a badass hip hop track.
Flux Pavilion – Blow the Roof
While his affinity for the genre is more than evident to anyone who has seen Flux live, “Blow the Roof” is Flux Pavilion’s first foray into moombahton. Despite being the title track off the EP, “Blow the Roof” is one of my least favorites. I have no doubt it would be well received in a heavy, mosh pit-malleable environment, but it feels less cohesive in relation to the other tracks.
Flux Pavilion – I Feel It
“I Feel It” is hard to classify. Breakbeat with a halftime midsection and a house bridge, “I Feel It” is one of the most interesting tracks on the album. Its cascading melody and funky “I Feel It” sample make it a memorable edition to the EP.
Flux Pavilion – I Still Can’t Stop It
While his remix of “Gold Dust” may have put him on the map, it was ultimately “I Can’t Stop” that skyrocketed Flux Pavilion to the forefront of the early American dubstep scene. More than two years later, Flux has reworked the track into “I Still Can’t Stop.” It’s something of a cross between a VIP and a remix. While it isn’t his most original or inspiring work, it’s a nice twist on a Flux classic.
Flux Pavilion – Do or Die feat. Childish Gambino
From being sampled by Jay-Z and Kanye West, to frequently collaborating with Foreign Beggars, something about Flux’s music is particularly apt for hip hop. Teaming up with multi-talented rapper Childish Gambino, Flux produces “Do or Die,” a raspy and rugged dubstep production which indelibly suits Donald Glover’s lyrical swagger.
Flux Pavilion – Starlight
“Starlight” is an appropriate end to Blow the Roof EP. Flux once again lends his own vocals and lyrics to the track, continuing with the cosmic theme explored in “Scientist.” The brassy synths and nostalgic vibe have come to represent the signature Flux Pavilion sound, and “Starlight” is a perfect example of that. It’s not the best track on the EP, but it’s a great way to finish a well-wrought, wholesome EP.
Blow the Roof is an exceptional release from the Circus Records head honcho. Flux could have easily put out eight dubstep originals, but he didn’t just do that. Instead, Flux dabbled in moombahton, breakbeat, hip hop, and even sang on two of the tracks. It was a risk, and it paid off. Flux’s desire to advance his sound while still retaining his artistic identity was conveyed and thoroughly appreciated. Not every track was golden, but they were all different and intriguing, and for that, DA approves.