Released in late 2002, this is the "sequel" to Fluke's 2001 "best of" album, Progressive History X. Here's a quote from an interview with them on the Progressive-Sounds site, which kinda explains why they've released another compilation so early:
"It's called commercial marketing, squeezing every last drop, but it is a good way to hear the cream of the first albums if you don't own them, and was an interesting thing to do. We get bit dewy eyed with all those memories, we're a bunch of softies really." - Jon Fugler.
At least he's honest about them wanting some more money, right?
It's also a box set, but it departs from the usual "take some CD cases and wrap cardboard around them" formula. The box - an actual box, that encloses the discs completely - is thick matt black cardboard, with the dance floor image from the Progressive History X cover printed in shiny black ink. Inside, each CD is in its own thin cardboard sleeve (much the same as some singles were around 1997, but thinner and not made of that horrible "dog hair" looking stuff), with the same image as the box printed on the front. On the back is the list of songs, and which album or single they came from.
There's also a card thanking everyone from their producers to their accountants, and... a surprise! Okay, so it's only a 3x3 CD-sized poster of the cover image (in colour, no less), with the cover artwork from all the singles and albums included in the compilation on the back, but I wasn't expecting it.
So, is it worth buying? If you're like me and weren't around to collect all the albums and singles as they were released (or, also like me, you live in a country filled with music stores that won't stock anything that isn't mainstream and released last week), and don't exactly relish the idea of buying them for $300 a piece from someone in East Turkmenistan off eBay, it's an easy way to listen to some of their older and rarer stuff at low cost. If you've already got all of the albums and singles, you've got everything on this album already, so don't bother... unless you're a complete lunatic and buy the things just because they're there. In which case, can I have some of your money, please?
If you've never heard (or bought) Fluke before, you could do worse than buy this. It's not just singles from over the years, there's also a lot of good album tracks that never got paid much attention.
Disc 1 (red): early stuff
Rare and early tracks, from 1989's Thumper! single to 1991's Out (in essence). Also covers some early white labels.
This CD and the next one are the album that Progressive History X should have been. I just wish it'd included one of the mixes from 1988's Island life single... even though it's the Fluke equivalent of Underworld's Underneath the Radar. Yay for synth pop!
- Thumper! - original mix
- Philly - Jamateur mix
- Easy peasy
- Pan Am into Philly
- Garden of Blighty
- The bells - mix one
Disc 2 (white): album tracks
Tracks from the albums Six wheels on my Wagon, Oto, and Risotto.
I'm particularly impressed with the fact that they included Kitten moon from Risotto, as it's one of the best tracks from the album. Oh, and the FreeDB entry for this disc lists track two as being called "astrosapenis".
- Spacey (Catch 22 dub)
- Life support
- Kitten moon
- Goodnight lover
Disc 3 (blue): rare mixes
Remixes from the various singles over the years.
To be honest, most remixes of Fluke songs that aren't done by the band themselves are complete pants. The Dust Brothers remix of Bullet is especially disappointing - I keep wondering how they could do something as amazing as the Fight Club soundtrack and yet manage to mangle a song this horribly. I haven't really bothered with this disc, apart from the Soul of Man remix of Absurd - which kicks serious ass.
- Slid - Justin Robertson's scat and sax frenzy
- Electric guitar - headstock
- Groovy feeling - screwball
- Bubble - braillebubble
- Bullet - Atlas Space bass
- Bullet - Dust Brothers jazz
- Tosh - Filia Brazilia mix
- Atom bomb - atomix 4
- Absurd - Marine Parade mix
- Absurd - Soul of Man mix
- Squirt - Europicola
...and the album, currently sitting next to me on my desk.