“Stagnation” isn’t a phrase in Flume‘s vocabulary. The prodigious expertise had barely turned 21 when he admissibly outlined and spoon-fed the modern future bass sound to the lots his debut, self-titled LP. Sure sufficient, a star was born. He moved on to solidify his place as one of the groundbreaking and forward-thinking artists of the present era after collaborations with Nick Murphy (then referred to as Chet Faker) and Emoh Instead beneath their omnipresent What So Not alias.
By 2016, he’d turn into a completely impartial entity, dedicating all his time to solo work and treading the road of pop and electronica with finesse in his Grammy award-winning Skin album. He’d set the bar improbably excessive for himself. But, being the true innovator he's, Flume has managed to complete one other revolution across the experimental solar with Hi This Is Flume. Short, however indubitably candy, the mixtape stands out as maybe his most idiosyncratic work thus far.
Hi This Is Flume is the product of an artist unburdening himself his self-imposed boundaries and surrendering himself to the summary. It’s an entire change of tempo from Skin, which, seemingly as a result of its quite a few collaborations, strikes a tame, and even formulaic, chord at occasions regardless of its cohesive and invariably interesting nature. This physique of labor feels structure-less—take for instance cuts like “Wormhole” and “Dreamtime”—however united all the identical. Flume’s enduring love for squelchy, staggered association is the bedrock of the report, with every of its 17 tracks ebbing in direction of the following, as organically because the tides flip over. We’d gotten a style of this within the Skin Companion EPs, however the Aussie expertise eclipses expectations on this newest enterprise.
Flume’s work alongside Vince Staples and different rappers seems to have influenced the path of Hi This Is Flume, as nicely. The mixtape is full of low-end stunners, just like the euphorically unorthodox “Ecdysis” or the resplendent, twinkling “Jewel.” His alternative of collaborators this time round additionally mirrors this irreverence in direction of conference: the eternally unusual EPROM makes his approach into the fold on two tracks, one in every of which was an ethereal rework of SOPHIE’s “Is It Cold In The Water?” Meanwhile, “How To Build A Relationship,” that includes superior lyricism by JPEGMAFIA, arrives as an unearthly melding of warped bass and avant-garde rap.
Awe-inspiring too is the quantity of affect Flume manages to squeeze into such a short while span. Most of the productions in Hi This Is Flume are two minutes or much less, however are so cleverly engineered, texturized, and intricately layered that they really feel as expansive as a bit that clocks in at triple the size. “Voices,” one other powerhouse effort crafted with SOPHIE and Skin collaborator KUČKA, is biting, with glitchy results galore, contrasting with dreamy, fluid undertones to facilitate a cerebral and totally loaded listening expedition in all of 115 seconds. The hazy, lo-fi tune “Daze 22.00” captivates with Eastern affect and viscous synthesis that make for an off-kilter mixture, with out proving too jarring. And optimism lives inside a single music in “Spring”—a gracious approach to finish such a surprising compilation, with its delicate, saccharine buoyancy.
It can be remiss to not point out the gorgeous visualizer that accompanies Hi This Is Flume. Crafted by Jonathan Zawada, who’s additionally behind Skin’s designwork, the video is as quixotic and artful because the music beneath it. While the report is loads engaging by itself, Zawada’s interpretation of it in a visible medium actually bolsters the whole listening expertise, with its swirling psychedelia and inner/exterior journey premise.
Hi This Is Flume factors to a brand new period for Flume that sees an already outstanding artist stepping away from conference, whereas remaining accessible. The superior sound design and clear step outdoors his artistic cavern showcase a matured expertise who continues to carve new niches within the fashionable digital sphere the place no artist previously thought to look. With information of much more music on the horizon, Flume is poised to proceed throwing himself from experimental precipices for the higher.
Photo credit score: Tyrone Bradley