Flume is one of the most exciting figures in dance-music culture, and it isn’t even because he wants to be there. The Australian producer has carved his niche in the beat scene by making tunes big enough to get main stage approval. Not an easy task inn 2014.
Real name Harley Streten, Flume is only 23 this month, but has already worked with the likes of Lorde and Disclosure to bring his unique sound to the masses. He is loved in America, but even more-so in Australia, where he has won a variety of awards and opened the floodgates for Chet Faker, What So Not, Ta-Ku and more to explode in a strangely-Australian-dominated year of electronic music.
He’s strangely versatile. His style can range from 2-minute, J Dilla worship to a 10-minute Arcade Fire remix epic. This type of musicianship has gained him respect in the world’s of indie, EDM, pop and also hip-hop.
The segue in to the hip-hop world was the deluxe version of his self-titled LP. Inviting the likes of Ghostface Killah, Freddie Gibbs, MOP, Stalley and more was a surefire way to get the hip-hop community to listen to his beats. Released about a year ago, those songs are still hot and worthy of a revisit.
With a style that’s more Madlib than Skrillex, let’s take a look in to Flume’s 10 essential tracks.
Flume – Holdin On
Flume’s music is a mix of instrumental hip-hop and soul with some strong EDM sensibilities. “Holdin On” is one of his most popular tracks due to smacking drums and an undeniable vocal sample, but it is also an embodiment of his whole style.
Flume featuring Jezzabell Doran – Sleepless
The entire reason for Flume’s popularity is that he is the antithesis of the American EDM explosion. Bro-tastic drops and bottle-service vibes are nonexistent here. Instead Flume has been known to say, “commercial EDM…the crowd is fucked up kids basically. They don’t care about the music, they want to hear one or two songs and that’s it. I prefer to play to people who actually give a shit about the music.”
Disclosure – You & Me (Flume Remix)
When Disclosure got big, it opened the floodgates for melodic, indie-minded producers to thrive in the new electronica market. Flume’s remix of their “You & Me” track honestly helped both artists out tremendously, and hearing this song blow up on the main stage of massive festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival and Ultra really changed the game. Now producers like Porter Robinson are making cutesy downtempo beats while artists like Chrome Sparks and Odesza are finding success in their soulful sounds.
Flume & Chet Faker – Drop The Game
Flume keeps good company, including crooner Chet Faker. The two have collaborated on more songs than we even know of, but one gift was the wonky “Drop The Game.” Complete with an artsy, Brooklyn-based music video, this track is all vibes.
Flume featuring Ghostface Killah & Autre Ne Veut – Space Cadet
A major moment in Flume’s crossover to the hip-hop world was the release of the Deluxe Version of his self-titled LP. With features from the likes of Ghostface Killah, Killer Mike, Freddie Gibbs and Stalley, this was a definitive moment in the artist’s break in to the US market. It’s also accompanied by the trippiest video you’ll watch all day, which is never a bad thing.
Lorde – Tennis Court (Flume Remix)
Lorde reached mega-fame this year, making any official remix of her songs prone to blow up. However Flume really hit a grand slam with this one, keeping Lorde’s ethereal vibe alive and adding some boom-bap smack to the tune.
Flume – More Than You Thought
“More Than You Thought” is a little bit of a deeper cut off of the LP. It doesn’t have millions of (YouTube) plays like a lot of his other tunes, but this was an important track. At a time when dubstep and trap were still dominating the US club circuit, the whompy bass and slow tempo of this song was a foot-in-the-door to American kids who were partying to more aggressive music. It’s also an absolutely epic tune.
Arcade Fire – Afterlife (Flume Remix)
Inviting Ghostface Killah to spit on your song is a good way to get in to the rap world.
Working with Chet Faker is a great way to get your R&B credit up.
Remixing Lorde is a great way to wedge yourself in the pop culture conversation.
And obviously creating an unlikely main-stage banger out of Disclosure tune will get your name mentioned amongst the ravers.
What’s left? The indie scene, and boy did Flume score himself an unlikely remix of an Arcade Fire tune a few months ago.
The 10-minute opus is unlike anything you’ll see out of a beat maker all year, but that’s probably exactly what he was going for. Remixing one of indie rock’s biggest names with such an integral concept is a bold move, and it was executed extremely well.
What So Not – Jaguar
Although it technically isn’t a *Flume* track, Flume is one-half of What So Not along with Emoh Instead. Amongst their several massive tunes is “Jaguar,” a face-smaking trap tune that showed Americans Aussies do it better. You’ve undoubtably heard this if you’ve been to anything resembling a party in the past year, and it’s for good reason.
Flume featuring Moon Holiday – Insane
It’s been an insane year for Flume, pun intended. The young superstar has created a name for himself that is as integral as any involved with electronic music. He’s been a naysayer to the zombie-like drug infusion of the culture and cares more about music than throwing a party. Remixes of Lorde and Arcade Fire, collaborations with Chet Faker, a thriving side project in What So Not and a still-incredible LP under his belt has left Flume poised to take over in 2015. We can’t wait to see what he does with the hype.