Leisure Time


"Throughout this record, Flexions guide the listener through a series of musical tableaux. In each number, Devin and Robin employ techniques and equipment that draw from historical movements and a diverse set of musical traditions to illustrate scenes of labor and leisure. In 'Ritual Feast' one can hear new interpretations of Afrobeat and dance-hall rhythms kicked out of a Roland 707 drum machine. 'Astrobiology' draws heavily from dub motifs, and the television program Unsolved Mysteries. 'Over Tanned' is a tropical jaunt executed with the help of guest vocalist Shannon Perry and veteran Journal of Popular Noise contributor Tyler Swan playing the Vox Percussion King. Alongside such human and mechanical collaborators, the duo focuses its source material through the lens of a punk tradition, thus transcending the realm of pastiche and instead defining a sound in their debut EP that is entirely their own. Though the songs are topically disparate, all the stops on this sonic tour are tied together by an overall tone that is both disaffected and supernatural. Over the course of this 23-minute journey, Flexions present you with tunes haunted by questions of time -- in relation to work, art, leisure, and the mundane -- and how one chooses to use it. In live performances, Flexions exhibit an approach somewhat foreign to the landscape of typical underground musicians. Because the band lacks a traditional 'frontman' or performative focal point, attendees are confronted by the duo of Welch and Stein and their backing band of beat-making machines. Lyrics are mostly nonexistent, and sparse at best, leaving the audience with little to hold on to. Flexions straddle the division between directly engaging the audience and a more aloof presentation. By sometimes playing at lounges and galleries in place of a DJ, they at times find themselves filling the role of merely background or 'mood' music. In addition to some of the source material, Flexions draw parallels with the exotica movement championed by composer Martin Denny and restaurateur Donn Beach. Leisure Time echoes the strength of Exotica's appeal to the mid-20th-century working class -- it served as an easily consumable vacation. In contrast to the real spaces occupied by the suburban labor force, the faux-foreign records and performances of exotica sonically transformed any space into a micro-resort. In the same way, Flexions utilize both implied exotic content, unorthodox live settings, and occasionally a visual component of found vintage slides, to re-create the pseudo experience of a non-native adventure in a place that never existed."