His thick British accent may make it had for most Americans to decipher Fluke
frontman Jon Fugler's English, but it's not as if he isn't trying to make himself
understood these days.
"I promise I'll speak slowly and clearly," said Fugler, frontman for the techno
collective known as Fluke.
While his diction is a little tough to comprehend, it's easy to understand his
recent success. Electronica outfit Fluke find themselves in the midst of what
some say is the onset of a techno-rock explosion. Ironically, the tune Fluke are
making their particular case with is entitled "Atom Bomb."
If you've ventured near a dance floor, tuned into college radio or
happened to watch MTV's electronica show AMP this past summer,
you might've heard Fluke's
Bomb"(RealAudio excerpt) featuring an insistently catchy synthesizer
riff bleeping away in tandem with a cigarettes-and-alcohol stained voice
chanting the refrain, "Baby's got an atom bomb, a motherfucking atom bomb..."
over and over.
Comprised of frontman Fugler, Mike Bryant, Mike Tournier and the
new Keith Flint-esque stage member Rachel, Fluke has made a considerable
impact on the landscape of electronic music in a fairly short period, fueled by
the force of their inescapable songs and catchy grooves. Fugler said he's looking
for "Atom Bomb" to set off a chain reaction for the band.
"We decided to let it go and let people hear it," Fugler said, of the
infectiously danceable tune with the stream-of-consciousness lyrics.
"Hopefully they'll like it and want to hear more."
So far, the strategy seems to be working, with Fluke getting a good deal of MTV
play on the psychedelic video to "Atom Bomb."
The group was conceived in England in 1989 by Bryant, Tournier and
Fugler, who shared a house in London. The combo released a series of
singles which led to the band's first longplayer, Techno Rose of
Blighty in 1991. Fluke decided soon after to release another series of
singles, which combined with their remix work for the likes of the Iceland's Bjork,
kept the band occupied for the next six years.
Last month Fluke saw the release of a new album, Risotto, featuring the current hit single. The fact that "Atom
Bomb" has been used on countless electronic compilations, from the
Wipeout XL soundtrack to MTV's AMP compilation has contributed
to the group's rising status in the world of electronica.
It was circumstance and not financial gain that motivated the band to
release the song again and again, according to Fugler, who maintained,
"We tended to license tracks to
compilations because we didn't have a finished album in America."
Bomb" 's striking video has greatly contributed to the song's success as well. A
psychedelic mish-mosh of virtual reality-inspired futuristic racing scenes and
espionage-themed Japanese animation, starring a spirited and diminutive
heroine, the video reflects the band perfectly: kitschy and remarkably cool.
Yet, it's not exactly what they would have wanted, Fugler said.
"We'd have probably made a much different video than they did," he explained.
"It's quite funny that the video went down so well in America. In many ways, we
didn't like the girl in the video. We didn't think she could act very well. She was
very pretty, but a bit wooden. D'you know what I mean?"
Nonetheless, the band does feature a heroine of their own who can more
than live up to their standards. Rachel, Fluke's secret weapon in live
performances, adds her punk visual style to the band's aural assault,
making for a complete sensory package on stage.
As she and Fugler pace the stage and peer into the audience, it's as if they are
daring you not to get excited. Fugler says her presence is due to an
observation that was made by up-and-coming techno artist Norman Cook (AKA Fatboy
Slim). "Live last year, we did quite a few festivals," said Fugler. "One night, we ended up
playing the same time as Norman and he said, 'You look like a caged tiger
prowling around up there, Jon.' We thought it would be neat to get a couple of
other 'cats' up on stage."
With a chuckle, Fugler reveals his motivation was a bit selfish as well.
"We came up with the idea of getting a stalker on stage because I was feeling
quite lonely as a caged tiger up there. A big stage can be quite intimidating,
[Mon., Nov. 10, 1997, 9 a.m. PST]