Flux Pavilion @ O2 Academy, Bournemouth – 3rd December

It’s not illogical to assume that most artists would opt to postpone or even cancel a tour should they suffer an injury to the extent of a broken arm. Tonight, however, Flux Pavilion strides out into his elaborate turntable booth with a gleaming smile, one arm waving to the booze-fuelled student types that for the most part comprise his crowd, the other rendered completely unusable in a cast and sling.

Easing into his lengthy set with the reggae-infused electronic groove of ‘The Scientist’, there are seemingly no faults to be had as a result of his impended limb. It’s with the unexpected early arrival of his bro-step breakthrough track ‘Bass Cannon’ that follows, however, which causes pandemonium and tedium to ensue in equal amounts, as song after song subsequently blurs into a mesh of distorted delinquency tailored specifically for those who whir around like a destructive spin-top devoid of ears.

But as the night progresses in a whirlwind of sweat and strobe lights, it becomes increasingly clear that this is in fact not merely a relentlessly pounding, bass-wob-a-minute type affair. Instead, what the sly producer hands his audience is essentially an ostentatious showcase of his genre-bending capabilities, separated with intermittent bursts of the bass ‘drops’ they lap up like starved kittens. He flaunts his hip-hop credentials with the Childish Gambino-assisted electro bruiser ‘Do Or Die’ and the euphoric synth-swash of ‘Daydreamer’, featuring his fellow Brit rap associate Example. He fiddles with lo-fi minimalism on the title track of his latest EP ‘Freeway’, and even dusts off the jazzy of his Doctor P collaboration ‘Superbad’ for some novelty amusement. There’s little consistency to be had, but it’s the element of surprise that make the more unconventional songs stellar set highlights.

It might be hopelessly farcical to believe that one day Flux Pavilion will completely abandon the irksome filled with obnoxious hype chants like ‘blow the roof off the place!’, as tonight they at least prove successful in enticing the immense levels of crowd participation they’re constructed with the intent to. Ultimately however, they only serve to hinder the enjoyment of the fusion genre gems scattered amidst his repertoire, and the sooner he chooses to ‘drop’ them, the better.

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Words by Joshua Pauley

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