Fluxion real name Konstantinos Soublis is about to release the loooooooong awaited (and from what we find out in this interview) final installment of the Vibrant Forms series Vibrants Forms III. We chat with Konstantinos and find out a little bit more about the songwriting and production processes and living up to the expectations of writing a follow up of what many call one of the greatest dub techno albums ever.
LSD: Released in 2000, Vibrant Forms II is considered by many a classic in the dub techno world. You’ve released plenty of music since, including the awesome Perfused LP. So why did it take so long to do the next take of Vibrant Forms?
Fluxion: With the Vibrant Forms, I always felt that there was something more to add, even after the completion of Vibrant Forms II. Then when the Chain Reaction label closed, I moved on to other musical endeavours and explored some of the avenues I wanted to explore. “Spaces” which was based on an experiment of recreating the acoustics of natural environments artificially. “Perfused” which was stripped down motifs and a colder sounding album. “Traces” a more organic & sensitive album. “Broadwalk Tales” which came after a visit in NY, which influenced me in many ways. To me there is always a story behind something I do, and I felt that in the story that is called Vibrant Forms, where the improvisational process, is the story itself, there was one more chapter to add. So when the material shaped up, after some years of working on it, it just felt like the right thing to do.
LSD: Was it a daunting task trying to live up to the expectations of Vibrant Forms II?
Fluxion: No not really. When you are constantly working on something in music, every day, and you know what, and how you want to produce it, then it’s a normal process. Not so much of a struggle. It is a struggle when you don’t know what you want to create, and you loose focus compositionally and in terms of production, and you end up throwing everything away. That is a struggle sometimes. The lack of intention and focus. With the Vibrant Forms III material, I had to think about motifs, and processing, and accidental phrases that ended up having key roles, but I knew my way in terms of production.
LSD: You’ve been releasing music for nearly two decades. How have your methods changed over the years?
Fluxion: They haven’t change. I believe in less, as a method of exercising the brain, finding solutions and being more focused, than having a myriad of solutions pre-though by others. I believe in what the analogue world and the digital world have to offer, and the combination of the two. It always depends on what you are trying to achieve. There are compositions that I need to re-visit their content, and I need to have access. There are sessions like all the Vibrant Forms material, that everything has to happen simultaneously and you capture the moment, and it either works or it doesn’t. So I guess the method depends on the concept, and what the content requires.
LSD: Are there any key pieces of studio equipment that were used in the beginning and are still being used? Any new pieces which you are excited about?
Fluxion: I am really fond of and using for many years, a Drawmer Dual Gate DS-201, Roland RE-301 Chorus Echo, Roland JX3P, Korg MS-10, and Roland SH-101.Those are more or less always on, from my outboard equipment, and then Logic and Live. The processing of signal coming out of the box, is always more pleasing than what’s being process from internal sources. I haven’t tried something new that I was excited about, but then again I am not trying new gear very often.
LSD: I love the artwork for Vibrant Forms III! I was looking at it from far away and you can almost make out different images within the fire. Do I have a crazy imagination or is there much more to it than just a flame?
Fluxion: This photo was captured by Lucas Zimmerman. After getting in touch with him and discussing, he presented this image which feels to me the epitome of what I am doing with the Vibrant Forms material. Capturing a moment when everything is aligned, and it feels right. It cannot be recreated exactly. It is not perfect, that is not the intention. It can create the illusion, but it’s just flame.
LSD: Melody is sometimes lacking in dub techno, but I love some of the melodic character in Vibrant Forms III, for me it takes it from 2D to 3D giving it layers and a certain depth you can get lost in. I’m curious about your songwriting process. Do you start with a melody? Rhythmic or percussive elements? Drums? Or maybe every song is different?
Fluxion: Usually its note motifs in parallel, interacting with one another and processed while creating the sounds, which creates the environment of the song. Then rhythmical and lower frequency elements depending on where I need the emphasis to go. I think generally that is my process, without blindly following it.
LSD: What’s next? Will we be waiting another decade or so for Vibrant Forms IIII?
Fluxion: I have no intention of releasing another Vibrant Forms album. I think the circle is complete, and VF III is the last chapter of a trilogy. There are various other things that are currently shaping up in the studio. I will let you know when the time is right. Thank you.
Vibrant Forms III is available October 31st on Subwax Bcn