A three-piece combo who managed to make inspired music during the 1990s while blazing a path through most of the popular electronic styles of the decade, Fluke was formed by occasional vocalist Jon Fugler, Mike Tournier and Mike Bryant after the three had spent several years living in the same combination house and recording studio. At first an eclectic, widely inspired house-pop act, the three later moved into trip-hop (and the British charts) during the mid-'90s before another leap into big-beat video-game soundtracks by the end of the decade.
Bitten by the acid-house bug in 1988, Fugler, Tournier and Bryant began recording with two singles informed by more-than-competent guitar work, soaring techno-funk and plenty of pop inspiration as well. "Thumper" and "Joni" (the latter sampling Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi") brought Fluke much attention in the growing electronic sphere, and they signed a one-off album deal with indie-rock kingpins Creation for their debut full-length, 1991's Techno Rose of Blighty. After completing another record deal with Virgin that same year, Fluke released a live album Out (in essence) and their sophomore masterpiece Six Wheels on My Wagon, an album of poppy, occasionally dreamy ambient-trance which included several previously released singles. By 1995, Fluke had even hit the British charts (with the singles "Bullet" and "Tosh") and their third LP OTO marked a bit of a departure for the trio, a downbeat, jazzy path just beginning to be name-checked as trip-hop. Hitting the charts in an even bigger way during their 1997 return, the trio released "Atom Bomb," a high-energy number recorded for the Virgin video-game soundtrack Wipeout 2097. The single and video also introduced fourth member Arial Tetsuo, an animé race-car driver come to life as concert figure-head Rachel Stewart. Risotto, Fluke's fourth LP, fit in nicely with the growing fanaticism surrounding big-beat techno, though the trio held on to their trance and trip-hop inclinations as well. ~ John Bush