One way to measure Fliptrix’s success as an artist is to contrast the entirety of his back catalogue. His debut, Force Fed Imagery, remains one of mine, and undoubtedly many others, most listened to albums. Even back in 2007 it had a raw yet personable vibe sewn into it, something which has evolved fluidly with the making of each following album. Seven years later and on his 5th LP, Fliptrix is continuing to make music which is both broadly conceptual and endlessly fascinating.
As supporters of his previous work will understand Polyhymnia isn’t a release which can be easily overlooked. To put this album on as background noise is to completely miss the concept it’s based upon. Drawing on inspiration from ancient Greek mythology, Fliptrix devotes the crux of the album to one of the 9 muses of the arts; Polyhymnia the goddess of sacred poetry. Re-enlisting the help of Molotov on the production you can expect a similar soundscape to Road to the Interdimensional Piff Highway, with an abundance of otherworldly themes and smatterings of spirituality.
Throughout the 14 songs there are many moments were Fliptrix masterfully balances the art of creating meaningful music with a refined subtlety. Praise the Sun, one of the pre-released singles to the album, encapsulates this beautifully with the help of resident blues singer, Rag & Bone Man. Making for a shrewd choice for the opening feature. Followed by the eponymous title track where Fliptrix truly embodies his passion for his work with candid yet powerful wordplay. Polyhymnia illustrates Fliptrix’s dedication to making music and how this has altered his life in the process, all of which is performed smoothly and egolessly.
Lean Star Gazer is a roller-coaster into the heart of Fliptrix’s mind, focussing largely on his positive mindset, something which is vividly portrayed throughout the rest of the body of work. This self-examining theme is soothed by a melodic guitar loop which crescendos cinematically into a fluttering flute solo, adding a perfect intensity to the track.
Returning producer Molotov provides the album’s most ethereal moment on Warning, with a steady stream of violins laced with tinkly piano keys. Doing extremely well to sculpt a beat which could easily be featured on not only a hip hop album but the opening soundtrack to film as well. Something which serves to highlight Molotov’s sheer talent and versatility as a producer.
The Message pushes the tempo to a more serious note, where Fliptrix muses about the world and its ever evolving complexities. For an artist who makes tracks with this kind of premise regularly its something he does very well. Revealing just enough to keep the listeners hooked but not so much that it loses its relevance.
Reclaim Your Mind finishes with a psychedelic speech from the tryptamine master Terrence McKenna which ties together exactly what Fliptrix set out to achieve in Polyhymnia. This extra touch from McKenna points to a way in which Fliptrix tries to live his life which is thus reflected heavily in his music.
A brief overview of Polyhymnia does very little to explain the full extent of his work. Its less of an album and more of an exploration into a way of life. Using his music as a platform Fliptrix gives supporters a glimpse into his fierce passion for his work and the inner workings of his life as both an artist and a human.Out of the 5 albums its his most honest to date, surpassing Piff Highway with a new level of refreshing integrity.
While it might not be as jovial as Third Eye of the Storm, its certainly a new direction in his work where the best is still yet to come. Impeccably crafted and seething with intelligence this is one release which is not to be missed.
Review by Louise Brisbane