The Flux | Burst

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Rock: Jam-band Urban/R&B: Funk Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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by The Flux

Revolutionary Rock - a blend of funk, West African rhythms, and epic jams... with a positive progressive message.
Genre: Rock: Jam-band
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. O Anna
4:01 $0.99
2. Picture of a Postcard
5:42 $0.99
3. Downhill
4:05 $0.99
4. Aloft
8:13 $0.99
5. Love is a Wave
6:38 $0.99
6. Feed
5:03 $0.99
7. The Sorcerers of Funk
6:04 $0.99
8. Pledge of Allegiance
3:56 $0.99
9. Subterranean Refuge
11:01 $0.99
10. Beam of Light
6:35 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Burst is the new CD by the Flux. It contains sixty-one minutes and eighteen seconds of music. These songs are upbeat, rhythmically challenging compositions performed in the classic rock quintet format of voice, guitar, bass, keyboards, and drums, along with a full-time percussionist and occasional horn sections. They are a band whose music shifts and changes in unexpected places during each composition, a band whose music requires attention from its players and an audience. If they ever did a cover of a standard rock song like “Free Bird,” it would probably come out sounding like “Take Five.”

The most essential requirement for a band playing music with shape-shifting time signatures is a rhythm section that is on top of every measure and every beat of every song. Brian Huston on drums and Ryan Lukas on bass more than qualify in this department. This CD can provide a listener with plenty of interesting things to hear just by focusing on Huston and Lucas for its duration. Percussionist Matt “Smitty” Smith is with them for every twist in the musical road on congas and additional percussion. Lukas’ bass lines and thick, dripping notes are one of this recording’s strengths. The band seems to value their bass players: Lukas’ six predecessors were listed in the CD booklet’s acknowledgements section.

Joe Balestreri handles the majority of the lead vocals and plays the guitars. His soloing style is an interesting blend of techniques one usually associates with jamband and prog-rock groups. At times I listened to his playing and thought it was the answer to my long-standing question, “What would music have been like if Jerry Garcia was in Yes and Steve Howe played lead guitar for the Grateful Dead?” (I have a lot of free time, folks.)

Phil Gorman plays keyboards in a style that is more rooted in jazz or classical techniques than one expects from the typical rock band. His comping and sense of rhythm are outstanding, as are his solos. His electric piano sections, particularly in the eleven-minute “Subterranean Refuge,” have a certain 1970s feel to them, more akin to Herbie Hancock’s music of that period rather than like Rick Wakeman or any of the other prog-rock giants."
- review by Dave Tilton,



to write a review

Bill Knispel

Upbeat, bright, positive..
Upbeat, bright, positive...these are just a few words that come to mind when listening to Burst, the debut album from world/jam/prog/fusion band The Flux. Hailing from Oakland California, the band fuses West African and Caribbean rhythmic sensibilities with a funky, jazzy sound reminiscent, oddly, of a mix of funk and the Grateful Dead. Pleasant folky vocal harmonies and insistent, betcha-you-can’t-not-dance-to-it beats are the menu du jour across 10 tracks and just over 61 minutes of music.

Two percussionists allow for some pretty interesting and occasionally complex polyrhythms. While Brian Huston handles traditional kit drumming, Matt Smith’s hand percussion (congas and other instruments) adds flavour and a touch of soul to the always busy rhythm section.

“Picture of a Postcard,” with its quick beat and distinct Latin flair, is a perfect example of The Flux’s modus operandi, with dense layers of shifting beats, bright and funky guitar, and warm organ. Lead vocals are bright and, dare I say, happy in their delivery, flitting playfully over the jazzy, danceable song. “Aloft” leans more toward a proggier, fusion based sound, with interlocking guitars repeating gamelan inspired phrases over bopping kit drum and Latin percussion. Quiet bursts of piano and deft tempo changes are certain to keep the listener attentive and interested. Harmony vocals are the strongest bit of evidence pointing toward a Grateful Dead influence, and add another layer of musical flair to the mix.

“Feed” verges on ska tempos, and is only missing the big brass section to achieve true ska status. Loads of upbeat chopped rhythm guitar and a brisk rhythm compete with quick but clean vocal delivery before the song breaks down to a slower section with loads of horns (ahh, there are the horns!). A little bit of Beatles influence, along with a heaping helping of old time dancehall feel, are fused together on “The Sorcerers of Funk,” which features humourously dramatic vocals and a fun, skipping piano line. The song is incredibly dynamic, shifting mood and tempo with ease.

The Flux is a band that should appeal to a wide range of listeners. Jam band fans will likely find a lot to enjoy here. While the band is not entirely based in world music, fans of that genre will likely appreciate their appropriation and deft use of complex polyrhythms and percussion. Burst is a fun album to listen to, and might just be the right prescription for the dreary winter days those of us living on the East Coast have been subjected to of late.


Flux is Fantastic!
Burst is a great first release from The Flux. The songs move along well, with varriations in style that kept me interested throughout. Most impressive is the musicianship displayed by all the band members. All of that with the addition socially conscious lyrics makes this CD a real treasure.


Ticky Tao, Tan Diggy Bing Bang
Great stuff from these guys. And, I'm not just saying that b/c some of them are from my home town. Awesome drops from the Bass and Drums/Percussion and the subtle guit and piano licks are right in the dome baby...

Average Joe.

Well polished pro's having fun
The Flux debut release is a regular in my i-pod go round. Well recorded and intensely funky it brings that world beat dance party in the back of your head right to front and center. The groove is tight and the songs are a blend of meaningful and the humorous. Good for those on Monday wishin' it was Friday already.

Michael Will

Funky Dudes
Love it. Funky, Latin, Rhythmic jammin' Drummer is especially great. Love the fill work. Just a really good overall album. Thanks Flux!