Failing civil societies, polluting factories aligned in endless rows under a toxic sunset, a concrete world being bled of all life, for all eternity. No hope or light. This is what FluiD sounds like.

Duality is the first full length from the Chicago based one man outfit FluiD. The goal is to mash together elements from dub, metal and hip-hop and from time to time this mix works perfectly, something one doesn’t necessarily believe reading it on paper. The sounds are rich and the noise intimidating. The electronic arrangements work perfectly. The record has a quite strong trip-hop and ambient undercurrent which gives the album a haunting feel. Iron Communique’s strong Dälek sound offers the listener a break from the trippy and very instrumental overall ambience of the release. More singing or rapping in form of featuring artists would have given the record more variation. And here we have the biggest problem with Duality; the record starts repeating itself after a while. At times it almost feels like the direction is lost and FluiD is out drifting with drum machines and too many synths.

Disrupting the Ghost is a peak moment with cold industrial beats and haunting oriental singing. Visions of police vehicles hovering above crowded streets in some decaying, dust beaten far-east city are imminent. Dread Futures on the other hand, with its mellow reggae vibes, offer those moments of change and serenity. Refuge is a breather between cold industrial punishment.

This is very visual music and therefore the cover arts raise questions.Why the American flag over Africa? How does it fit in with the music and the overall feel of the album? Some feel that covers are all the same in this day and age, but I beg to differ. The artwork is the introduction to the record. The first glance and makes up an everlasting image of the product. Make it work!

In short Duality offers a strong introduction to the world of FluiD. If you like your future bleak and hopeless this is your record.

8 / 10