From the Archives – Flux Europa

From the Archives – Flux Europa

FOR TEN YEARS Flux Europa“dark music and more” – provided an alternative review of art, books, films and music.  It seems that the initial inspiration for – and direction of – Flux Europa was provided by Tony Wakeford (1) of Sol Invictus fame (2).  The site was created by Rik and launched in October 1995.  However, it ended active publication in April 2005 and sadly now only lingers on as an archive.

This is a great pity.  It carried excellent reviews of both mainstream artists – such as All About Eve (3), Gary Numan (4) and Soft Cell (5) – and relatively unknown bands like Death In June (6), Inkubus Sukkubus (7) and Minimal Self (8).

Although it modestly describes itself as “an arts zine” it really is much, much more.

Its two core areas are music and art.  Of music it says:

“We specialise in ‘dark-edged’ alternative and avant-garde music variously categorised as neofolk, neomediaeval, ethereal, filmic, apocalyptic folk, dark folk, gothic-industrial, goth-rock, darkwave, dark-ambient, ambient-industrial, dark metal, military bombast, electronic and noise etc. We also cover some early music (Mediaeval and Renaissance), traditional folk music and neoclassical music.”

And of art, Flux Europa notes:

“We cover a number of contemporary artists connected with the above musical genres, but we also have a special interest in Futurism and other aspects of early twentieth-century modernism.”

However, it also features books, films, personae, miscellany and a massive links section.

Although it’s been archive site for six years, we’ve noticed that these sometimes have the habit of suddenly disappearing.  If this happened to Flux Europa it’d be a real tragedy.

Many of its reviews and articles are timeless.  As such they deserve to be syndicated out – to reach as wide an audience as possible.  With this in mind we hope to reproduce as many articles as possible from Flux Europa, to whom we give our acknowledgements.

As these reviews are fairly old, we apologise in advance for any inactive links.  We’ve also had to change some of the pictures used to illustrate a few articles as the originals weren’t as clear as we’d like.

We kick off our homage to Flux Europa with a look at a couple of bands featured in its music section:

15 DELIGHTS OF DIONYSUS

The Nightmare Museum
2002
Limited CDR
The Fossil Dungeon

The 15 Delights of Dionysus (Mike Bull, and Mark and Michael Riddick of The Soil Bleeds Black) emerged from a desire to explore “fringe consciousness and the bizarre in art & sound”, and the group has had several releases on “obscure underground labels”. This one is via Michael’s own Fossil Dungeon and features industrial-ambient and electronic samples but nothing too harsh. I particularly liked the heavily reverbed sixth track where a sort of dark Kraftwerk meets Dead Can Dance.

Excerpts from this CD were featured on a Discovery Channel documentary about ‘Sleep Paralysis’, Alien Abduction: The Mystery Unraveled.

Rik – 23 July 2002

AARDIA

Fairy Tales From Beyond
2003
MCD
Witchcraft and Folklore ARD 003
15:59

Dramatic and menacing percussion, celestial choirs and neoclassical piano characterise Aardia’s debut MCD of film soundtrack music. It’s composed by Patrik Söderlund and Daniel Johnsson and reminds me of those historical epics that my grandmother took me to see as a child, although the actual musical inspiration here is Fabio Frizzi, Carl Orff and Ennio Morricone rather than Cecil B de Mille. One rather suspects that the fellow Swedish project, Arcana, and the American neo-mediaeval project, The Soil Bleeds Black, have also had some influence. On the literary front Aardia cite Lovecraft, Poe and Tolkein as inspirations.

In an attempt to sound literally like a film soundtrack, ‘The Summoner’ begins with a Mediaeval convivial, while ‘Call To Arms’ features whinnying horses and the sound of mortal combat. Incorporation of ‘historical’ SFX and other material always treads a fine line between the convincing and the kitsch. I think Aardia get away with it, but I tend to feel more comfortable with the other two, less literal, tracks. ‘The Wandering’ is percussive enough, but generally less epic in scope and features female vocals by Maria Carström. I think the best track, however, is the title one, ‘Fairy Tales From Beyond’, which has the dramatic neoclassical qualities of the first two without the SFX.

The recording can be downloaded free of charge from the Aardia MP3 website, although you may prefer to own the CD replete with Tolkeinesque artwork.

Rik – 3 March 2003

(1)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Wakeford

(2)  http://www.tursa.com/index.html

(3)  http://www.goony.nl/aae/aae.htm

(4)  http://www.numan.co.uk/

(5)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_Cell

(6)  http://www.deathinjune.net/

(7)  http://www.inkubussukkubus.com/

(8)  http://boomkat.com/cds/95511-minimal-self-formula-of-reversal

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