Puppy (Fluke album)

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Puppy
Fluke-puppy-2003.jpg
Studio album by
Released18 August 2003
Recorded2003
Length67:13
LabelOne Little Indian
ProducerFluke
Fluke chronology
Progressive History XXX
(2002)
Puppy
(2003)

Puppy is the fifth and final album by British electronica group Fluke, first released on 18 August 2003. The album contains a variety of genres, spanning from house to ambient and even including a blues track, "Blue Sky".

Overview[edit]

After Risotto, Mike Tournier left the group to form Syntax with Jan Burton. Mike Bryant and Jon Fugler went on to produce Fluke's final studio album, Puppy, without Tournier's help.

There were still signs of life in Fluke's production studio when, in 2000, they produced a Virgin Records-distributed promotional CD named The Xmas Demos, which included early versions of many of the tracks intended for the album Puppy. Four of the tracks on The Xmas Demos would appear on Puppy, while the remaining tracks, "Liquid" and the original "Another Kind of Blues", did not make the final cut. The release of Puppy was significantly delayed by a change to the band's record label, switching from Virgin Records offshoot Circa to One Little Indian. Speculation about a new album was furthered when, in 2003, the remaining members of Fluke released two singles forming the basis of this next album.[1] Though the aptly titled "Slap It: The Return" signaled a break from the past, with the writing credits listed simply as "Bryant/Fugler" under the Appalooso label, "Pulse" exemplified a much darker style and was released on the One Little Indian label. In 2003, Fluke finally released their fifth studio album and first without Mike Tournier, Puppy, six years after their previous effort Risotto. The name of the album was inspired by Jeff Koons' fifty foot sculpture of a puppy that stands outside the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.[2]

"Snapshot" was featured in Need for Speed: Underground while "Switch/Twitch" is featured in Need for Speed: Underground 2. The latter song was the only single to be released from Puppy after the album's release, and was distributed in CD and vinyl formats. However, it achieved nowhere near the critical or popular acclaim of the singles from Risotto, not even appearing in the UK top 40. "Another Kind of Blues" and "My Spine" were also featured in Total Club Manager 2004.

"Another Kind of Blues" is a 4:37 edit of previously released promotional single, "Slap It" (original length 10:19). Another version, renamed "Zion", was used for the underground rave scene in the 2003 film The Matrix Reloaded.[3] Puppy's "Another Kind of Blues" is an entirely different song from the track of the same name included on the Xmas Demos.

The track "YKK" was used in the 2010 film The Experiment.

The number of Fluke's live shows decreased significantly after the release of Puppy owing to their personal commitments to young families.[4] In the few shows since, they have opted for the Fluke DJs set up, which uses "a battery of laptops and the odd deck" rather than focusing on their live band, an approach which Jon Fugler subsequently referred to as "good fun, but ultimately flawed for the dancefloor."[5]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic2.5/5 stars link
TranceCritic5/5 stars link
Progressive-Sounds(9/10) link
PopMatters(positive) link
Premonition Magazine(very positive) link
The Independent(mixed/negative)[6]

The album was not received well critically with most of the critics labelling the album as dated. Andy Gill of The Independent wrote:

Surely the longest-serving of UK dance outfits, Fluke have been a fixture on the national house scene for more than a decade now ... With their endlessly cycling layers of fizzing synths and those big filter-sweeps that were de rigueur a few years back - when the music recedes to nothing, then surges back again - tracks such as "My Spine" and "Hang Tough" could have been made at any time in the past six or seven years. Maybe they were; whatever, they sound a tad cumbersome compared with the leaner garage beats favoured now. In "Snapshot", the juddering synth riff is the techno equivalent of the 12-bar blues, a standard form that has become all too easy for lazy musicians to slip into. Fluke may sing, "It's easy to change/ Go out and get a new name/ Forget yesterday" in "Switch/Twitch", but it is clearly not proving that easy for them to develop beyond their old house style, notwithstanding odd moments such as the freeway glide of "Baby Pain" and the soulful choir on the closing, chill-out number, "Blue Sky". It's Nineties music for a Noughties world.[6]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Snapshot" - 4:09
  2. "My Spine" - 7:22
  3. "Another Kind of Blues" - 4:37
  4. "Hang Tough" - 5:27
  5. "Switch/Twitch" - 9:33
  6. "YKK" - 6:45
  7. "Expo" - 5:18
  8. "Electric Blue" - 6:34
  9. "Baby Pain" - 5:44
  10. "Nebulus" - 5:57
  11. "Blue Sky" - 5:48

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Global Trance Fluke Discography (page 3)". Archived from the original on 4 January 2006. Retrieved 9 November 2006.
  2. ^ "The Vibes Interview with Jon Fugler". Archived from the original on 11 October 2006. Retrieved 9 November 2006.
  3. ^ "Amazon listing for The Matrix Reloaded". Retrieved 9 November 2006.
  4. ^ Cowen, Andrew (9 August 2001). "Fluke leave nothing to chance". Birmingham Post. p. 12.
  5. ^ "Progressive Sounds Interview with Jon Fugler". Retrieved 9 November 2006.
  6. ^ a b Gill, Andy (15 August 2003). "ARTS: ROCK&POP - THIS WEEK'S ALBUM RELEASES". The Independent. p. Features section, 13.