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Flume: The Heartbeat of Australian Electronic Scene

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640x427-cHarley Streten’s career in music production started with a box of Nutri-Grain cereal. Aged 13, he came across the cereal box at a local supermarket with his Dad which had a mini music kit inside called Andrew G’s Music Maker. Now 23, Streten, going by the stage name ‘Flume’, has been mixing sounds since. Already having graced the ARIA Albums and Singles Charts, the young Australian was named one of Fuse TV’s 30 “Must-See Acts” at the SXSW festival in March 2013. A recipient of several ARIA Music Awards and Australia’s weirdest snapchats to remind him he’s famous, Flume is trailblazing his way through the resurgence of the Australian electronic music scene. Here is some of his best work off of his self-titled debut album and other musical projects.

Screenshot (27)Interview with Metrojolt

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1. ‘HOLDIN’ ON’

‘Holdin’ On’, the lead single from his album Flume, which was nominated for ARIA Music Awards for Song of the Year, is a celebrated track among electronic music audiencesfeaturing an infectious chorus and an uptempo gospel vibe. Using a vocal sample of Otis Redding’s 1965 hit single, ‘I Can’t Turn You Loose’, Flume’s production is scaling its summit on this, blending Redding’s soulful vocals with a groovy hip-hop beat. This coming from a guy who played the saxophone throughout high school. Respect.

2. ‘INSANE’ (FEAT. MOON HOLIDAY)

A track that definitely leaves a lasting impression is the electronic sparkler ‘Insane’, featuring notable electronic producer, vocalist and fellow Aussie, Moon Holiday. Flume employs skilful voice modulation (a trick previously heard on the album opener, ‘Sintra’), transforming her sweet, dulcet vocals from booming baritone to a piercing treble in swift momentum. Treated to Flume’s amazing set of synths and pulsating with brisk accelerated beats, this feels like shooting for Neptune in a time capsule travelling light years.

3. ‘EZRA’ & ‘STAR EYES’

What have been deemed as unfocussed and drifting production by some music critics are contrarily my favourite. ‘Ezra’, a spacey downtempo track, is a specimen of wonky music with a running techno vibe structured on steady hip-hop beats. The music prods at asleep memories of leaving a party hours from dawn―a party that you weren’t invited to―and setting for your empty apartment on drunken unreliable limbs, maybe even stopping by a diner glowing with ostentatious neon and catering only to insomniacs. Flume seems to be constantly alluding to our loneliness and aimlessness manifesting in the music―an entire generation not long since having recovered from history speculating hard on their ability to forge one themselves.Then there is the album finale, ‘Star Eyes’,dosed with similar production techniques. With Laurence Day of The Line of Best Fit summarizing it as “an anthem for 4 a.m., stabbed with crunchy kick drums and paranoid samples of lost voices”, ‘Star Eyes’ is a call from little green men from Mars resonating through the galaxy.

Listen to Flume’s debut album below:

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Perhaps, what is going to go down as one of the best and unexpected collaborationsin music history is that of Flume and Chet Faker, advancing towards the grandiosity of ‘Under Pressure’ by Queen and David Bowie or the more recent Jamie xx remixed ‘Rolling in the Deep’ by Adele featuring―wait for it―CHILDISH FRIGGIN’ GAMBINO! Having previously worked together on the track ‘Left Alone’ for Flume’s self-titled debut, the two teamed up again for a three-track collaboration, Lockjaw EP. I have already at-length expressed my passionate commendation for both Flume’s eclectic talents and Faker’s unique sultry and soulful vocals but it is what these two bring to the table, each from their own musical dimensions, that is truly phenomenal.

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4. ‘DROP THE GAME’

‘Drop the Game’, the lead single from the EP is an electronic masterpiece. The track features prominently Chet Faker’s vocal prowess, aiming for a grittier, edgier focus on this one, and interspersed with Flume’s skilful production oscillating between piercing frequencies and reverberating bass. The result is a theatrical soliloquy of an electronic hip-hop thespian. Faker told NPR Music that the song was a shout for sanity, saying, “Everyone has these notions of what someone else wants, and it becomes this massive game.” ‘Drop the Game’ is testament to the tremendous calibre of this interesting electro-soul alliance leaving audiences and critics alike in anticipation of further collaborations.

Watch the official music video of ‘Drop the Game’ below:

 

 

By Mahima Verma

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