spiral_mind | Pennsylvania | 09/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A warm, colorful and enchanting piece of work, Flux & Mutability is a complete contrast to its predecessor (Plight & Premonition). Where that album was chilly, forbidding and almost devoid of actual music, this one overflows with dreamy synth tones and pleasant atmospheres. It's a radiant ambience that still doesn't captivate all your attention, but creeps into your consciousness before you realize what's happened. Sylvian starts building some comfy clouds which are gradually added to as "Flux" progresses; some aimless stray notes here, some toned-down percussion there, some faint unintelligible voice snippets here, some breezy winds there. It suggests sitting on a porch some sunny spring day. The outside world makes its presence felt as it comes and goes, but never really intrudes.The slightly longer "Mutability" consists only of David's keyboards and some airy barely-there flute, and it almost makes the first half seem busy and active by comparison. Again there's no real melody, but an easy-flowing atmosphere of warm and pleasant sounds. It meanders in the ether for a good 20 minutes, not really going anywhere but not intending to. Ambient fans should find a lot to enjoy, and Sylvian fans should just be warned that it's a far cry from Secrets of the Beehive. Excuse me while I drift off..."
The fine art of evocation...
B. J. C. White | Christchurch, New Zealand | 05/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...is on display here, as Sylvian and Czukay carry the listener on another aural journey of remarkable proportions. "Flux" is the musical equivalent of a still life - a sonic space where nothing much happens but everything moves. As other reviewers have quite rightly said, "Flux" evokes a summer's day, passersby and a bright hot sun that the listeners can see but need not venture out into, warm and comfortable as they are in the shade...
"Mutability" is simply remarkable, a gently susurrating helix of sounds - keyboard/guitar sounds that shimmer drift at glacier speed, fragments of flute that are hints of melody - that spiral up and out and spread into a wide surging that creates an eternity - in the somewhat surprising time of 21 minutes (it doesn't seem that long, whilst simultaneously seeming longer). This is aural mysticism at a very high level of expression - perfect for meditating or just chilling.