Miscellaneous Flux
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Miscellaneous Flux

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Band Spoken Word Avant-garde

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"Miscellaneous Flux: Dead In Dreams (10/04)"

One part traditional jazz, one part hip hop and one part poetry slam. Is this a battle? Yes! (as the lyrics go on their song "1980"). Led Zeppelin, Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Ravi Shankar, Radiohead, Bad Brains and Frank Zappa, the band Miscellaneous Flux is a combination and collage of sounds. Composition and fusion which is both orchestrated and improvised. True creativity is what they seek, and universal vibration with art, life and politics rolled up into one. They consist of Dave Althen on drums, Rashad Dobbins on vocals, and Ben Tyree on electronic bass and guitars. The experimental sound shines through with each musician contributing a distinct sound in the mix. It's apparent that good musicanship is revered, as many songs feature solo intrumental moments, and the band jams in a way that is free and soulful. Lyrically they verge on revolutionary themes
which give them a thoughtful and at time abrasive edginess.
-Kira Yustak
- Ugly Planet Magazine


"Miscellaneous Flux: Dead In Dreams"

Miscellaneous Flux isn't exactly the first hip hop group that plays their own instruments. From Stetsasonic to The Roots to Heiruspecs, the hip hop world has seen enough live bands to remove the novelty of having a drummer and a bonafide emcee sharing a stage. Miscellaneous Flux is much more than a novelty, though. This Washington, D.C. trio approaches their instruments not as a producer approaches a sampler (to complement the rhymes of the emcee-in-charge), but as though the guitar, drums, bass, keyboards and other instruments featured on their full-length debut, Dead In Dreams, have as much say in the content and meaning of the music as the vocalist. This is not as daunting a task for Ben Tyree and Dave Althen as it may be for other musicians, because they are masters of their instruments (guitar and drums, respectively). Their riffs and solos display as much emotional depth as a listener could hope for from a singer or emcee. Yet they never outshine or diminish the impact of Rashad Dobbins' impassioned vocals. It is obvious from listening to Dead In Dreams that the three members of Miscellaneous Flux have achieved a remarkable musical balance, one rarely seen in any style of music.

But looking past all the album's technical merits, what really makes Dead In Dreams a winner is its heart. Both personal and political, the album reflects on history through Dobbins' blunt metaphors and Tyree's diverse and compositions, while forging its own new, instantly recognizable (though difficult to categorize) sound. The past, present, and future of music, and in turn, the people who make and listen to music, are all represented on this album with great care.

Dead In Dreams' second track, "1980," is a fresh commentary on the state of music in 2002. Is hip hop so narcissistic and redundant that it will self-destruct and fade into insignificance? Dobbins' hook of "Is this a battle? yes/ but you must ask yourself one thing/ purpose, goal, get props or save souls?/ old school was here to go beyond 1980/ as the bodies pile up, you can battle, but what you saying?" indicates that while it may do just that, Miscellaneous Flux does not want that to happen. The mentality of battling for fame or making a career out of dissing emcees, real or imagined, is questioned here, and in an intelligent, thought provoking manner. The backdrop, while not overtly hip hop, bumps in a way that recalls rap's golden years without being any kind of overt throwback. Like the rest of the album's songs, "1980" looks back on the music of the past while creating a new steez and moving forward.

"Sad Sunshine" is probably the most straightforwardly personal song on Dead In Dreams. Rashad Dobbins brings an as-always passionate performance on the topic of self-perception and physical beauty. Risky business, but Dobbins comes off both emotional and sensible over the ethereal accompaniment, and his time in the spotlight is followed superbly by Ben Tyree, who drops a top-notch guitar solo to end the song. "Four Toes" features a similar theme of self-worth-- believing in the power of music and the power of one's self. The lyrics, with a chorus of "Reaching for the elevated cloud/ mouths in the well can't speak but spread teeth to smile, you/ laugh, pain won't rape our sound/ 'cause when I break down and cry, my tears die you," speak beautifully of trying to find happiness in a damaged world, and the song's instrumental bridge is straight up sublime. This is fantastic music right here.

Put simply, Dead In Dreams is an inspired album. Here you can find great lyrics and even better music presented in a soulful and skilled package. Whether you are disappointed with current hip hop or loving the latest releases and trends, Miscellaneous Flux have released an album that deserves your attention. It is one of the best albums to come out so far in 2002, and it would be a shame if it goes unnoticed. Intelligent, soulful, innovative and flavorful, Dead In Dreams' virtues are countless. Hopefully, the least important question this album raises is, "Is this even hip hop?"





  - Hip Hop Infinity.Com


"Black Cat: March 16, 2001"

At the Black Cat on March 16 are three bands that may be different in style, but have one thing in common - they're making some noise.

Composer/guitarist Ben Tyree and former Freestyle Union lyricist/rapper Rashad Dobbins drive Miscellaneous Flux. A music major at Howard, Tyree has spent most of his life so far studying classical and jazz. He's bored with everyday radio and not interested in "manufacturing a product to sell." Rather, he strives to "process jazz, heavy metal, rap, funk into a story about all our lives." The result is a fusion hip-hop that he half jokingly warns is not for the simple mind.

Though Tyree adamantly rejects what he characterizes as artistic compromise, he hopes that the group can progress and fund itself without having to leave Washington. And what of Miscellaneous Flux's love-us-or-hate-us posture?

"We're doing something new," says Tyree. "We don't try to alienate, but we do elicit a reaction. Either way it's good for us." - Washington Post.Com-MP3


"Dead In Dreams: CD Baby Reviews"

Reviewer: axelle
I got the cd for 1$ in a little store i have to say i made a goooooooooood choice!!!

 put this in your life
Reviewer: blynzoo
Incredible. That's it. This is where hip-hop needs to be. Sh*t, this is where all music needs to be.
 tasteful blend, musically diverse,
the sweetest mix life morning coffee

Reviewer: MauMau
Original mix. extremely creative. Emotional, but deep. Eye opener. This CD brings something new and interesting to the Table. I would love just to hear them perform live. very intense!

Unfukwittable
Reviewer: DJ Stylus
Dead in Dreams is what happens when you're fiercely talented, damn near psychotically creative and hell bent on smashing expectations. It's like a beautiful car crash of different styles that somehow makes sense.

Genre Transcending!!!!!!!
Reviewer: MD Fresh HipHop Seeka
This band is inspiring, not just for music but for the future. This album invokes soundscapes that are utterly enveloping. The lyrics are deep and profound, the instruments are plain amazing. This is the next movement in music.

Reviewer: d blu
damn, m flux is sooo talented. im proud to say ive been seeing them since the very beginning, they are incredible live and this ablum fuses together their different styles, talent, musical genres...lyrics are amazing, you can't categorize it as anything but art

The new Flux CD is AWESOME!!!
Reviewer: Rai
The album is very emotional and dark. i just love it. track one wakes me up. the song trial of isolation makes me cry. the composition is great and i think this band will go far! - CD Baby.Com


"M. Flux picked as one of the 12 best indie artists"

“Old school was here to go beyond 1980,” bellows Miscellaneous Flux on the album Dead In Dreams. This New York based band in fact seems to have been influenced by
an intricate network of schools, culminating in PhD’s from the University of Funk, Hip-Hop, Rock, and Jazz. The cocky chops that these guys have built up are on full display, along with the brash, splintering rhyming by their front man Rashad Dobbins. Many bands that attempt a hip-hop/jazzy sound end up sounding like a beatnik poet backed by the house band at an open mic night. But Miscellaneous Flux is genuinely sweet when necessary, then blasts out of a cannon that makes everyone take notice. The musician-ship of this group is enough to grab you, but the hip-hopnotical force of Rashad’s voice is truly transforming. An amazing pool of talent with a diverse bag of tricks, Miscellaneous Flux will no doubt pump you up.

- Independent Musician July/August 2003


"Music: Miscellaneous Flux/ Dead In Dreams"

Keeping intelligent hip-hop relevant seems to have been a passing fad. But throw on any
Tribe Called Quest album and that thought will quickly fade. Miscellaneous Flux hold on to that vibe pretty tight and bring it with a live band. Blending jazz rhythms with a soulful appeal one minute and then switching to an improv-jazz freakout on “Bleed,” shows diversity. Then throw smart lyrics into the mix by Rashad Dobbins and now you’ve got a complete meal! Sometimes when a band combines elements of hip-hop, rock, jazz and soul there is one voice that overpowers the rest but these guys do a good job of keeping things even for everyone to shine brightly.

- Skyline 24Seven (February 2003)


Discography

Live Flux (EP) [2004]
-Exclusive, free mp3 download
@ www.miscflux.com

Dead In Dreams (LP) [2002]
-Clips accessable: www.miscflux.com

Miscellaneous Flux (EP-*out of print) [2000]
-Entire EP may be downloaded from:
www.miscflux.com

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Founded in 1999 by visionary poet Rashad Dobbins and sonic architect, guitarist, and composer Ben Tyree, Miscellaneous Flux create new musical forms rooted primarily in the jazz, funk, punk, hip-hop, blues, and classical genres that continue in directions outside definition. Performing with a rotating cast of high-caliber musicians, Flux consistently astonishes listeners with their explorational and densely arranged studio recordings and high-energy, virtuosic live shows.

Miscellaneous Flux have performed to high-volume and enthusiastic audiences all over the East Coast (U.S.) since 2000, performing regularly at venues such as the B.B King Blues Club and Grill (NYC), The Knitting Factory (NYC), The Blue Note (NYC), The Black Cat (Wash, DC), DC9 (Wash, DC), The Vault (Baltimore, MD), The Shadow Lounge (Pittsburgh, PA), and many more.

With three discs to their name, the award-winning Miscellaneous Flux (recipient of 2002 Best Hip Hop/ Rap Group/Duo award at the 17th. Annual Washington Area Music Awards , February 2003; also received 4 other nominations), continue to explore the ideals and concepts that have set their unique style apart from the rest for the past 6 years. Witnessing a Miscellaneous Flux concert has been described as eye opening, a revelation, and even life altering by fans and critics alike. The words, however, do little justice to the experience. One just must see and hear Miscellaneous Flux to believe it.

“The musicianship of this group is enough to grab you…An amazing pool of talent with a diverse bag of tricks.”

-Independent Musician Magazine (July/August 2003)

“Miscellaneous Flux have achieved a remarkable musical balance, one rarely seen in any style of music.”

-Hip Hop Infinity.com

“…daring and frequently invigorating.”

-David Morris, Pop Matters Magazine (2003)

“…jams in a way that is free and soulful.”

-Kira Yustak, Ugly Planet magazine (Fall 2004)