Band Appreciation Friday – Flume

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homepage_large.ccf8a276Flume, AKA Harley Edward Streten, is barely an adult, yet he has accomplished more in a few short years than ever expected from a man of his age. He has been at the top of the Triple J charts, has mingled with the likes of Disclosure, and has created some of the most intense electronic music there is. The twenty-one year old electronic prodigy mainly works his craft with intense sampling, mixing and remixing, and synthesizing vocals until they sounds like something from a futuristic land. His debut album Flume (2012) is chock full of track after track of deep, introspective instrumentals, with a few lyrical songs in there as well. Like I have said many times before, ambient music is often deemed as boring or colorless because its harder to understand and analyze. However, I believe that this is simply because of the lack of a vocal backing providing context, but the search for that meaning is what makes listening to it all the more worthwhile. Flume is definitely not boring or colorless, and the first track “Sintra” reflects that very well. It starts things off on an upbeat, classic note, and pretty much gives a little taste of everything Flume has to offer. I’ve noticed that Flume has a knack for collaboration and always picks the best and brightest for those collaborations, which only adds to his artist intuition. For example, Chet Faker’s relationship with Flume always seems to pay off, and the track “Left Alone” is such an intense, sensual track that presents the fruits of that partnership exceptionally well. Speaking of partnerships, Moon Holiday’s track with Flume may be one of the best on this album, as well as my favorite. In fact, it’s the track that began my admiration for Flume in the first place. “Insane” is so delicately crafted and meticulously orchestrated, and everything from the ethereal vocals to the futuristic instrumentals that envelop and surround them. It’s seems to fill the room you’re in, and that expansiveness is what makes it such a gorgeous, gorgeous song. “Change” is also a showstopper, especially with it’s genius sampling and the repeated metallic drops that intertwine with the bass and drum beats. Of course, this is still a mainly instrumental album, and tracks like “Stay Close,” the pixelated masterpiece “Ezra,” and the extra-terrestrial “Space Cadet” make that clear to the listener. “Star Eyes” closes the album on a slower, more introverted note, and sort of ties the whole thing together, with it being an instrumental track. As each song on the album plays on, there’s a connection between the electronic vibe and an almost hip-hop inspired backing. There are definitely times when that connection is even clearer, and it only goes to show where the wunderkind gets his inspiration from when he’s producing music in his parent’s basement (yes, you read that correctly). It’s still amazing to me how a person of his age could manage to have an ability that is so enhanced and fine-tuned that he can create these tracks entirely on his own. It’s incredibly inspiring, and ensures you that these beats are being produced by someone who no doubt knows the power and magic that music can bring, not to mention electronic music. Flume is currently working on some new projects (considering his album came out two years ago) and has released a track with Chet Faker (“Drop the Game”), which is also worth checking out because of it’s gorgeous noir feel.

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