In 2016, there was no producer more synonymous with Australian electronic music than Harley Streten, aka Flume. With the release of his second LP, Skin, the Sydney-born, LA-based producer won the Triple J Hottest 100 with his single ‘Never Be Like You’ ft. Kai. Since this Grammy Award winning album, Flume has remained silent on new music. That was until last Thursday when he debuted a new 38-minute mixtape titled Hi This Is Flume.
Flume’s highly anticipated return to music has been worth the wait. Over the course of the 38-minute mix, Flume takes listeners on a journey of different genres and featured artists, tied together through his electronic experimentation. It is a showcase of Flume’s talent as a producer, blending a range of contrasting sounds while exploring a variety of styles. Tracks like ‘Jewel’ at 5:35 and ‘Voices’ ft. Sophie & Kucka at 26:02 are similar to the Flume style fans of 2016’s Skin will recognise, with some more aggressive bass work and a wilder, less radio friendly, song structure.
Other tracks venture well beyond the familiar territory of Skin. The two most notable examples are the heavy hip-hop tracks ‘High Beams’ ft. Slow Thai at 2:12 and ‘How To Build A Relationship’ ft. Jpeg Mafia at 16:25. The juxtaposition of raw rapping with Flume’s bright electronic effects and trap and RnB beats with Flume’s lo-fi bass work creates a uniquely complimentary sound. Other tracks, like ‘Amber’ at 36:25 and the final track ‘Spring’ ft. EPROM demonstrate Flume’s foray into experimentation. On their own, these tracks sound a little disjointed and unnecessarily noisy, but having established a varied tone over the course of 38-minutes, it is a playful exploration of Flume’s artistic side, giving a glimpse into the weirder depths of this much beloved artist.
Accompanying this mix is a complete visualiser, created by Jonathan Zawada. If possible, listen to the mix with this visualiser. The highly artistic shots of Flume, mixed with shots of his car, dark roads, huge deserts and morphing imagery of sand and paint, all combine into a visual spectacle. When such overwhelming ocular stimuli accompanies the audio of the mix, it creates a distinctly Flume experience.