Two finds Flusnoix expanding upon the soft, gauzy palette explored on their debut album. As their name suggests, the collective is in a constant state of flux, their sound shifting as variables are added or subtracted. On this outing, two more players are present, enriching the amount of textural possibilities. Michael Pihakis brings a delicate, mournful approach to the guitar, which melds nicely with Joel Nelson's poignant atonal attacks. Walker Yancey disassembles a drum kit and drags it all around the room, providing some hiss to the rest of the group's hum.
In their sophomore release, the musicians behind Alabama based improvisational act Flusnoix (including xyc’s own Jasper Lee) are sounding more confident and while the most resonant lyric is “I won’t say anything’s perfect,” it’s clear that this isn’t self-deprecation, it’s a protest against those who claim that perfection is even desirable. Perhaps we’re in the best possible world, but it’s certainly not a perfect one. It seems like there’s been more coverage lately about the loss of silence, the fact that while you can listen to most anything you want by streaming it, you’re going to have tough luck finding a true absence of sound.
This spoke to me when I was listening to this album because I wanted to hear what it would be like without an overlay of the ambient sound of my backyard or car or fan. Despite the addition of two musicians as compared to their inaugural release, Flusnoix maintain an intimate, living room feel. You want everyone and thing to shut up and listen. Of course, I didn’t achieve a silent backdrop and neither will xyc listeners, but the philosophy behind the original fluxus movement which emphasized process over product helps us appreciate the struggle to listen and the thrill of being along for the ride.
Nan Pincus, WXYC 89.3FM
released July 14, 2016
Jess Marie Walker : flusdrawxing, flusvoxing
Joel Nelson : guitar, clarinet
Cody Iott : electronics, guitar
Michael Pihakis : guitar
Jasper Lee : bass
Walker Yancey : percussion
Improvisations recorded March - May 2016 in Birmingham, AL
at North Birmingham Savings & Trust, the Nick, Shift & the Kewahatchee Lounge