Flox is square. Square, precise, direct. He goes straight to the point and does not waste his time with useless considerations. “I don’t have time to shit,” he said. Thus, his seventh album is called ‘Square’.
Extraordinary architect of studio production and multi-instrumentalist who records, mixes, produces but also, for several years, performs on stage with his musicians, ‘Square’ represents a major turning point in the career of this pioneer of nu reggae.
After recording ‘Square’, Flox goes on tour alone, equipped with a machine he designed and built with Midi controllers to launch original samples and loops – an assumed autarky from one end of the process. “You have to master all the tools to deliver what you want,” he has been repeating for years. However, this Square is wide open: old school rhythms or techno-like approaches, vintage dub or futuristic take-offs, bass and thick-sounding melodies, scraped to the bone… All this is Flox, a solid innovator who never ceases to renew his nu reggae, a maniacal craftsman who regulates, to the nearest micron, titles with perfect ease of access. His trademark is this very spatialized reggae, with an enveloping sound, which takes the artist and the listener into a bubble of shared communion.
A know-how ? This mild-mannered French-British man in his fifties smirked: “There are so many easy ways to produce music these days that you could put out an album without knowing you’re still learning or assimilating… Many burn their wings”. Flox practices the expert level in all areas of the game. He knows so well how much patience, precision and passion his path has required. few decades, he obtained his bookbinding diploma after his five years of study at the École Estienne.He was in the middle of the punk period and did not see himself working for the old bourgeois bookbinding customers.So he took a job in an American computer company based in France and his first salary was used to borrow 25,000 Francs to buy a 12-track analog multi-recorder.
After all, Florian Gratton has never lacked determination and knows how to take decisive decisions. Before him, his half-Kabyle, half-French mother fled to Britain as a teenager, met a half-English, half-Irish actor and only returned to France after Mitterrand won the presidential election of 1981. At that time, Florian at the age of eleven, began to play the drums, his first instrument. Step by step, he learned a little about each instrument he encountered. “I’m more curious than truly multi-instrumentalist. I only learn from each instrument what I need to make the music I want. It’s a focused learning process.”
Don’t expect a classic reggae man course. His introduction to Jamaican music was first British with The Police before Linton Kwesi Johnson’s clash of dub poetry. “Apart from that, I was enriched as much by Bob Marley as by Pink Floyd”, he explains. At twenty, the time of groups begins. At thirty, he led a batucada of thirty percussionists, but he had already set himself the goal of producing his first album before the age of thirty-five, which was entitled “Take My Time”, “Take My Time » composed of ten titles designed and recorded with all the seriousness of a square. But no record company wanted it, until Maxime Péron, co-founder of Underdog Records, found Flox’s demo at the bottom of a box in another record company’s office and it totally unexpected nu reggae starts playing. Radio Nova, France Inter and FIP.
Since then, Flox has become a crossroads of cultures and musical experiences. He has built up a library of nearly a thousand titles recorded at Sacem and has enjoyed success on numerous advertising and musical productions. Of his own productions, Flox explains, “I have to hear something. It could be a bass line, a bird, someone whistling in the street, a phrase on the radio – there are no rules. ” And so, he patiently builds his tracks in his studio, willingly reworking them for his live performances. The most important is simplicity, clarity and efficiency. Let every sensation be enormous. Square like.
‘Square’ is released on Underdog Records on August 19th.
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