Flux Pavilion Talks Trap and Dubstep: "Music, Since the Beginning of Time, Always Had Bass"
Feel that rumble.
Every humanoid creature who's ever lived, from the caveman to the dubstepper and runner of traps, has felt a rush of adrenaline whenever their bones get rattled by a low-frequency boom. That's called bass. And as Flux Pavilion says: "We all respond to it."
The other day, we here at Crossfade spoke with this English DJ-producer who's been "successfully ruining silence since 1989." And the topics of conversation included trap, dubstep, Flux's love of making cocktails, why Miley Cyrus needs to release some "real music," and the art of the album.
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Crossfade: You're a dude who knows how to throw a party. Even been cookin' up your own custom cocktails lately.
Flux Pavilion: Indeed. I have developed a taste for whiskey and liquor. Now I've got quite a collection. So what a better way to drink than to mix it all together, right?
Do you have an actual mixology background? Or is this a self-taught skill?
Well, my girlfriend used to work in a bar in Australia. And I don't really know what it's like in America. But in Australia, you've got to know your shit. It's not like the UK, where it's mostly just pulling pints. So yeah, she knows quite a bit, and she's been teaching me.
How about the DJing thing? Did you go to school to learn that particular party trade?
Nah. I was well into drum 'n' bass, then I bought some decks and some records. Like everything else in my life, I just picked it up. Got a guitar and taught myself. Got some drums and learned to play. The saxophone as well. For me, it's like PlayStation, just spend about ten hours mastering it.
For some people, WMC, Miami Music Week, and Ultra Music Festival is a big party. But you'll be working the whole time. Is that fun? Or a chore?
That's where the beautiful infusion of alcohol helps out. [Laughs] It makes anything that would be stressful quite pleasurable.
The whole week is such a massive get-together for everyone. And when I first started coming to America, I thought Ultra was the place to be. But then I realized that there's all these other really cool things going on. So it's the nicest place to hang out, hear new stuff, talk about myself. Probably one of the best work holidays that you can have.
Everybody's in Miami right now. You hoping to run into any famous friends? Or maybe someone who you've always wanted to meet?
It's always a free-for-all. But there's all my friends like Diplo and Skrillex and those guys.
And every year, there's lots of new music. It's cool to keep your ear down and find out what's going on. So I'll also be looking out for this guy called Kilogram. He's kind of like Antiserum & Mayhem, taking what Baauer and Flosstradamus were doing with trap, but then fusing it with that big dubstep sound. There's another act that I'm excited about called Discord. They're doing a similar thing.
Why do you think that heavy, low-end sound's been so popular, especially in the U.S.?
It's good. Just that simple. But music, since the beginning of time, always had bass. It's an integral part of trap and dubstep. And if you listen to tribal music, funk, reggae, and rock, the bass has always been a big, formidable part of the sound. We all respond to it.
Ive been thinking. All Miley Cyrus needs to do now is write a great motherfucking album and she will become Legend. im talking reallly great
— Flux Pavilion (@Fluxpavilion) February 24, 2014
Coincidentally, Miley Cyrus just did a Miami show. Unfortunately, she hasn't stuck around to party. But you tweeted that "now all she's got to do is write a great motherfuckin' album." Was that facetious? Or do you think Miley's got some real potential?
I think anyone has real potential. And Miley Cyrus is in such an incredible position. Almost literally, everyone on the planet is aware of her right now. But I'm not sure anyone is going to remember what's happening inside the cranium of Miley Cyrus. They're not going to remember her music.
I mean, do you know who was on the front page of the tabloids ten years ago? Because I've got no idea. But I know some really great albums that came out around that time. And those are the things that last.
She could smash it, if she just did something great. And she has all the potential. She's obviously interested in music. So fingers crossed ... Just imagine Miley Cyrus became the next pop-to-art crossover. Everybody loves the Beatles. They became one of the greatest bands ever. But they started out as a big pop act.
So far, it's been such an onslaught from the press and media. There's just this big bubble of hype, but that's not real. Once some real music presents itself, like an album that you can listen to from start to finish, that's when Miley Cyrus will actually become interesting.
Do they actually make full albums anymore?
Sometimes. Like Bon Iver, who I'm still listening to. And there are loads of artists, like Muse is pretty good, that are working good representations of what can be accomplished with an album.
In general, within EDM and dance music culture, it's all about the next track, what's the next sound, who's coming up. But I really liked what Calvin Harris did with 18 Months, taking his singles and adding other music and piecing it all together, which made a really great album.
You know, it's fine, with the Internet, to have all these singles, like, "Here's a hit and another hit and another hit. Check this new guy out and this other guy and this other guy." It can be exciting, invigorating, and inspiring. But the records that I've always loved the most are the ones that could be played from start to finish, over and over.
Right now, people are quite enamored with being the next big thing or being the guy with the hottest tracks. And that's cool. But when somebody emerges, like Disclosure, and sort of changes everything, it's always because of a great album.
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