Format: 2x12” / CD / Digital
Release Date: 26/04/2014
To say Athenian producer Kastos Soublis aka Fluxion had been around for a while would be something of an understatement. Having released his early work through the 1990s via the legendary Chain Reaction imprint, over the last few years Danish label Echocord has hosted the bulk of Soublis’ output, which seems fitting as one of the leading dub-techno imprints currently in operation. The latest offering Broadwalk Tales is no different, and comes at an interesting time, following last year’s reissue of Soublis’ compiled formative works, Vibrant Forms.
The fact Broadwalk Tales was intended as a long-player from its inception is clear. The addition of Teddy Selassie’s sultry vocals make the record a more expansive yet equally more cohesive listening experience, without losing any of the ethereal, leftfield appeal which made Vibrant Forms so special. This said, the effectiveness of Selassie’s inclusion on the LP comes from the fact vocals are used sparingly, easing in and out of Soublis’ haze of dub, reggae and techno influences.
‘Everyday’ for example glides across booming percussion, Selassie periodically adding to Soublis’ spellbinding melodies, with echoing, faintly melancholic outcries. ‘Change’ is another track to feature fairly prominent use of vocals, yet here they are warped and stuttered by Soublis, off-beat chimes and jaunty percussion snowballing into a stumbling reggae groove.
In between these moments however the LP remains fairly instrumental. The drowsy, introspective pulse of ‘Ascent’ or the misty chords buffeting against one another through ‘The Steps’ make good examples of the power Soublis holds through his solo ventures on the album. The shimmering ‘Celestia’ is another illustration of this, and arguably one of Broadwalk Tales finest moments; subtle developments, warm, immersive synthwork and thickset, shuffled rhythms make for a hypnotic, inviting listen.
Compared with his prior output, Broadwalk Tales feels broader and more inclusive in its use of dub & reggae elements, absorbing these in a way which manages to keep a common thread with Soublis’ sound. The LP also does a fine job of exploring the link techno specifically has with dub & reggae music, whilst still being as captivating a listen as any of Soublis’ back-catalogue.