Fluke is a way cool (IMNSHO) techno act. They are probably best known for the track Atom Bomb, which has shown up on everything from Wipeout XL to the soundtrack for The Saint. I just started exploring their stuff, and I really, really like it. Atom Bomb and one of their other more well-known tracks Absurd are on the 'hard' end of the spectrum that their music rides, but are by no means the only sort of stuff they do.

One of the nice things about Fluke is the vocals which are present in so much of their music, a rarity in techno/electronica today. Their vocal work is not only harder, edgy stuff but can also be quite melodic and a perfect accompaniment to softer tracks. This is especially true of their modified vocals, such as those in Oh Yeah off of Six Wheels on my Wagon.

I was encouraged to explore Fluke by the node for my favorite Underworld track, Rez. Give them a try! Lotsa good grooves here, too, especially on Risotto.

"The story of a dog who thinks he's a man... or a man who thinks he's a dog."

One of the favourite books of my youth, Fluke, a masterful tale written by James Herbert, still captivates me to this day. Fluke was first published in 1977 by the New English Library.

Fluke is a dog, or to be more exact, a crossbreed, a mongrel. The book begins with the small fragile puppy opening his eyes for the first time, getting his first glimpse of the world around him. Right from the start, Herbert engrosses you in deep, vivid descriptions, with seemingly scary accuracy of what it would be like to look at the world from a dog's perspective. Certain events and sightings trigger memories in Fluke's brain, causing him to remember the tiniest parts of his previous life, and, from that, his journey begins to piece together his existence as a man.

One of Herbert's earlier books, it strays away from his usual horror novels, such as The Rats series, The Fog and The Survivor (although, interestingly, Fluke is classed as a ficticious horror), and is instead a heart-warming, thought-provoking, and highly enjoyable read.

A film adaptation was released in 1995, featuring Matthew Modine (as Fluke), Eric Stoltz, and the voice of Samuel L. Jackson. Although it failed to portray some of wonderfully deep writing of Herbert, it managed to keep the gripping storyline. Maybe I'm just a softy and like to watch cute doggies run around.

There is one thing that disappoints me about the book, however:

"The characters and situations in this book are entirely imaginary and bear no relation to any real person or actual happening."

I hope that the book only has to state that for legal reasons.

Fluke is an international company that makes test equipment, both common and esoteric. Most of their equipment is in the form of a hand held meter in a characteristic yellow-orange rubber and plastic case that is nearly indestructable.

They make a line of very rugged high quality digital multimeters that are the electrical engineer's dream. The meters are small, and will measure just about every observable electical quantity. A standard multimeter typically covers volts, amps, and ohms. A typical fluke would also add to this capacitance, inductance, temperature (with optional thermocouple), duty cycle, pulse width, bandwidth, and frequency. On top of this, the meter can act as a data logger and will keep basic statistics (such as min, max, average) of the signal it is measuring.

But Wait! There's more! They make other meters that specialize in measuring everything from resistance of insulators, power quality analyzers, oscilloscopes, various calibration tools, signal generators (waveform generators up to TV signal), pressure sensors, and others.

They also make some very sophisticated computer network diagnostic tools and software, including hand held packet sniffers, network connectivity discovery tools, protocol analyzers, cable testers (coax, cat5, fiber, others), NIC testers, etc. As with their mutimeter, their cable tester goes overboard on features. Not only can it test for the standard things such as cable connectivity, crossed wires, and mismatched pairs, but also cable length, cable speed, impulse noise, impedance, return loss, propagation delay, attenuation, and can detect the location of cable faults, and will automatically detect (unexpected) activity on a live cable (such as network packets or a phone ring signal).

 

Ok, if these things are so great, why doesn't everyone have one? 'cuz they're DAMN expensive! A few other companies make meters as high quality, and many make testers that have the standard functionality.

Spuunbenda says: ee's may recognize the unofficial motto: "If it works, it's a Fluke."

Biography:

UK techno group formed in 1986 by long-time housemates Jon Fugler, Mike Tournier and Mike Bryant as an experiment in acid house music. While the first single, Island Life, was mildly successful, it was Thumper and Joni (which sampled the Joni Mitchell song Big Yellow Taxi) in 1990 that really bought them to fame. They signed a one-album contract with indie rock record label Creation to create their 1991 debut album, The techno rose of Blighty, with a progressive house/trip hop sort of feel.

Later that year they signed with Virgin and produced a live album (Out (in essence)). 1993 saw the release of Six wheels on my wagon, an amazing trip into ambient trance and pop music (in my opinion, their best album to date). After that was a live studio album, The Peel sessions, where they tried out freestyle jazz and trip hop. OTO saw further excursions into downtempo and jazz.

Returning after a two year hiatus with the album Risotto, the group recruited Rachel Stewart to play the part of Arial Tetsuo (rumored to be their answer to Keith Flint of The Prodigy), the band's mascot and megalomanical pilot for the WipEout team Auricom (she stars in the video clip for Atom Bomb, and also appear(s|d) in their live shows... but doesn't actually do any vocals). Risotto was slightly different from their previous albums, delving into semi-industrial techno, hard trance, and Underworld-style stream of conciousness lyrics. This was probably also the album that really got them noticed by the mainstream - Atom Bomb was played continuously at nightclubs for several months, an instrumental version of the atomix6 mix made it onto the WipEout 2097/XL soundtrack, and a new track (V6) was custom-written for the game.

Nothing much was heard of Fluke until early 2001, when rumors of a new album came about. Slightly disappointingly, it turned out to be the "best of" album Progressive History X. Gathering together the best remixes of their songs from the past ten years (hence the name), it's a good place to introduce people to the group.

2002 saw the band's new single, "Pulse", a return to the Oto-era lyrical style, with a beat similar to Atom Bomb and Absurd. It's probably the hardest (and most complex) stuff they've done so far. I'll certainly be buying it as soon as I can get my hands on a copy.

The band was briefly a duo in mid-late 2002 after Mike Tournier split (rumor has it this was to avoid having to go on tour for the album release) to do his own thing under the pseudonym "Syntax", but the remainder of the group hired drum programmer Ron Aslan, guitarist Wild Oscar, and producer Andy Gray (more famous for his work with Paul Oakenfold) to help with the new album. The result was "Puppy", a continuation of the post-Risotto dark trance/industrialish feel, with some elements of house and a one-track return to their earlier pop roots. There will also be a Fluke "DJ" album called "Sleeping Beauties", in the same vein as The Crystal Method's "Community Service" and Orbital's "Back to Mine", released in late 2003.

Genres: techno/progressive house/trance/pseudo-industrial/trip-hop/etc...
Similar to: FSoL, Leftfield, Orbital, (early) Prodigy, Underworld.


Discography:

Albums

Singles

Colaborations

  • Atlas - Mike Bryant engineered the track "Compass Error". (1993/1995)
  • Junkie XL and Sander Kleinenberg - Jon Fugler provided vocals for the track "Venus & Mars". (2000)
  • Sander Kleinenberg - Engineering on his June 2001 Essential Mix. (2001)
  • Trisco - Jon Fugler provided vocals for the song "Ultra". (2001/2002)

Compilations

(the ones containing otherwise unreleased songs, anyway)

Remixes

Remixed by

Fluke remixes don't tend to be named after the artists who worked on them, instead taking a name somewhat related to the song: the remixes for Electric Guitar are all named after various types of amplifiers and guitars (headstock, hot tube, superwound, humbucker, vibrochamp, etc), and the Tosh remixes are words that merely rhyme (posh, cosh, mosh, dosh). Sometimes, though, they get named after the artist, but either "vox" or "dub" are added (Catch 22 dub and Headdrillaz vox for the Spacey and Absurd remixes, respectively) depending on which attribute it concentrated more on.


A demo album the band did for Virgin. It's closer to the sound of Oto than anything else, and I think a progression back that way would be great. Since it was a one-off kinda thing, the only way you'll be able to get your hands on a copy is to find it on a file sharing network -- I suggest Soulseek.

Ω Bjork was so impressed by Fluke's remix that she released it instead of the original, and they appeared with her at the 1994 Smash Hits winner's party.

¤ It's not actually by the 'Brothers; Fluke did all six (atomix 1 - atomix 6, plus the edits of 1 and 3, plus the instrumental version of 6 for WipEout 2097) remixes themselves. Most likely it's just a fan remix renamed so it would be listened to.

References:
http://www.astralwerks.com/fluke/bio.html
http://www.allmusic.com/cg/x.dll?p=amg&sql=B38831
http://members.tripod.com/markolf/fluke.html
http://www.negative1.net/music/fluke/fluke_index.htm
http://www.vh1.com/artists/az/fluke/bio.jhtml
http://www.global-trance.co.uk/Fluke.html
http://www.progressive-sounds.com/artists/Fluke/Fluke-interview.asp <-- Read this.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fluke_/
http://www2.thny.bbc.co.uk/radio1/dance/nightingale/profiles_fatliners_fluke.shtml

Fluke was also a rather short-lived television show on Channel 4 in the mid-90s. Created and hosted by Tim Vine, the show had one of the best premises ever - the winner was purely decided by luck. No skill was involved, no verbal sparring, no fights to the death on a greasy treetrunk over an active volcano, just pure, unadulterated luck.

It also contained one of the best inventions ever - the BOAWJP (Bit Of A Wasted Journey Pointer). The five contestants stood around it, and Tim spun the pointer. Whoever it landed at went home, simple as that.

Aside from that, the 'games' were all won or lost purely by chance - for example, the question round comprised of such delicacies as "I interrupted Bob Holness reading Jurrassic Park the other day. Was he reading page 609 or 610?". There was horse-racing of sorts, a Jeopardy-esque round (Tim gave the contestants two options, and the first to buzz in had to pick one. Then Tim put the option chosen into a pre-written sentence, and if it was correct they got points. Example: "Mike Tyson or a basketball?" "A BASKETBALL!" "A basketball bit off Evander Holyfield's ear") and a 'What's Behind The Door' round.

The final round saw the contestant competing for the BIG PRIZE. It was kept hidden throughout the show, with a cage suspended over it by three ropes. There were five questions - to win the prize, the contestant had to answer three correctly. Every one wrong, though, meant a rope was cut by Major Disappointment (the show's gimmick character, much like Debbie McGee or Our Graham). Three wrong, and the cage was dropped. Three right, and the contestant got the prize, and the title Duke of Fluke.

It only lasted one season. Which is just as well, probably - some things are best left alone. It did spawn some equally short-lived catchphrases, though - "What are points? POINTLESS!", "The more you know, the less it matters" and "What's the prize? A BIG SURPRISE!"


Ah, the wonders of the 'Random Node' link. Also, while writing the node, I came across this: http://www.qwertyuiop.co.uk/gs/atoz/programmes/f/fluke/ . It gives all the details and then some, and some quotes for this node were therefore taken from there. Hoorj!

Flukes are parasitic flatworms of the phylum Platyhelminthes, class Trematoda; they're related to that other yucky parasite, the tapeworm.

This is going to be gross, so prepare yourself. Flukes possess disks with which they cling to their host by sucking on; they have an external cuticle rather than an epidermis in order to resist being digested by the host. These darlings usually ingest food in the way you'd expect, though some species have no digestive system at all, absorbing food through the cuticle. Flukes are usually hermaphroditic, though they reproduce sexually. One fluke can apparently produce over 500,000 embryos. And all this is giving me a creepy vision of blood-sucking fingernail-covered perverted worms.

Well. There are many orders of fluke. Monogenea are external parasites which live on the gills of fish. Digena are internal parasites, 35 species of which are known to live inside humans, often after passing through various animal hosts on their way to us. Let's see: there's the lovely liver fluke, Clonorchis sinensis, which passes through snails and fish on their way to humans, who become host to this baby after eating infected raw fish. The flukes shed eggs which pass out of the human host via their feces to begin the cycle anew; these charmers are prevalent in East Asia. There's another liver fluke too, Fasciola hepatica, which passes through snails and encysts on grasses, and which causes fatal liver rot in sheep and other herbivores who happen to munch them down. Then there's the suave blood flukes of the genus Schistosoma, common in Asia and Africa, which cause schistosomiasis by burrowing through the skin of humans and animals and lodging in the blood vessels. The delightful lung fluke of East Asia passes to humans via uncooked crab meat, settling in the lungs. Gack. In case you think this is a "third world" thing, there's a species of fluke in American lakes which causes of rash called "swimmer's itch". Better an itch than a rotted liver, though, I guess.

Fluke is also used to refer to certain species of flatfish (flounders), and to an accidental advantage or stroke of good luck. God knows why, with all those flatworms around.

Thanks to infoplease.com for gory details.

A variety (namely, a brand, but also a rather specific variety) of ukulele produced by the Magic Fluke Company, headed and founded by "Jumpin'" Jim Beloff. The idea behind the company was to promote the ukulele as a reputable and often-used instrument, as opposed to something of a novelty item, by providing a quality ukulele for beginners.

The Fluke comes in a variety of alarming colors, and has a flat base that you can stand the instrument upon. Its body is, astoundingly, made of plastic, but it seems to resonate as if it were made of a high-quality wood, which makes it very affordable while sounding much like a more expensive instrument. They come with a decent travel case not unlike the sort of gig bag you'd get for a guitar for thirty or forty bucks, which also has a conveniently flat base.

When I went ukulele shopping for the first time (on vacation in Honolulu) I was approached with several very cheap instruments that sounded rather terrible, and a reasonable (+-$200) instrument which looked kind of goofy. Its plastic body scared me off a bit, but its sound was astoundingly rich in comparsion to the other ukes of that price range (or even slightly above). I was strangely told by virtually every employee in the store (which sold only ukuleles) that I'd picked out the best buy possible on the way out. I'm inclined to agree with them, even a few weeks after having made my purchase.

The only problem with the lower end Flukes (mine was $200) is that they have a shorter neck than some of the slightly more expensive ($250-$300) Flukes, which makes them sound kind of dull as you move up the neck. You can get a nice sound out of them even there, but you have to put a little more force into the strum, or use a pick (which kind of defeats the purpose of having a uke, since it just sounds like a guitar at that point, in my opinion).

Mine, additionally, had some problem staying in tune (at one point it literally unwound as I watched it), until I took a screwdriver and slightly adjusted the screws on the tuning pegs. This took maybe 15 seconds, and entirely resolved the issue. I haven't heard explicitly of this happening to other people, but it's a possibility. These are mass-produced, inexpensive instruments, so there is the potential for some minor production oversights such as that one, but overall they seem to be of an astoundingly high quality for their class.

Fluke (flUk), n. [Cf. AS. flOc a kind of flatfish, Icel. flOki a kind of halibut.]

1. (Zoöl.)

The European flounder. See Flounder. [Written also fleuk, flook, and flowk].
[1913 Webster]

2. (Zoöl.)

A parasitic trematode worm of several species, having a flat, lanceolate body and two suckers. Two species (Fasciola hepatica and Distoma lanceolatum) are found in the livers of sheep, and produce the disease called rot.
[1913 Webster]

 

© Webster 1913


Fluke (flUk), n. [Cf. LG. flunk, flunka wing, the palm of an anchor; perh. akin to E. fly.]

1.

The part of an anchor which fastens in the ground; a flook. See Anchor.

2. (Zoöl.)

One of the lobes of a whale's tail, so called from the resemblance to the fluke of an anchor.

3.

An instrument for cleaning out a hole drilled in stone for blasting.

4.

An accidental and favorable stroke at billiards (called a scratch in the United States); hence, any accidental or unexpected advantage; as, he won by a fluke. [Cant, Eng.] A. Trollope.

 

© Webster 1913


Fluke (?), v. t. & i. [imp. & p. p. Fluked (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Fluking (?).]

To get or score by a fluke; as, to fluke a play in billiards. [Slang]

 

© Webster 1913

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