Flume enters matured new chapter in ‘Hi This Is Flume’

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Flume enters matured new chapter in ‘Hi This Is Flume’Flume Credit Tyrone Bradley

“Stagnation” isn’t a word in Flume‘s vocabulary. The prodigious talent had barely turned 21 when he admissibly defined and spoon-fed the contemporary future bass sound to the masses via his debut, self-titled LP. Sure enough, a star was born. He moved on to solidify his position as one of the most groundbreaking and forward-thinking artists of the current generation after collaborations with Nick Murphy (then known as Chet Faker) and Emoh Instead under their omnipresent What So Not alias.

By 2016, he’d become a fully independent entity, dedicating all his time to solo work and treading the line of pop and electronica with finesse in his Grammy award-winning Skin album. He’d set the bar improbably high for himself. But, being the true innovator he is, Flume has managed to finish another revolution around the experimental sun with Hi This Is Flume. Short, but indubitably sweet, the mixtape stands out as perhaps his most idiosyncratic work to date.

Hi This Is Flume is the product of an artist unburdening himself his self-imposed boundaries and surrendering himself to the abstract. It’s a complete change of pace from Skin, which, likely due to its numerous collaborations, strikes a tame, and even formulaic, chord at times despite its cohesive and invariably appealing nature. This body of work feels structure-less—take for example cuts like “Wormhole” and “Dreamtime”—but united all the same. Flume’s enduring love for squelchy, staggered arrangement is the bedrock of the record, with each of its 17 tracks ebbing towards the next, as organically as the tides turn over. We’d gotten a taste of this in the Skin Companion EPs, but the Aussie talent eclipses expectations in this latest undertaking.

Flume’s work alongside Vince Staples and other rappers appears to have influenced the direction of Hi This Is Flume, as well. The mixtape is packed with low-end stunners, like the euphorically unorthodox “Ecdysis” or the resplendent, twinkling “Jewel.” His choice of collaborators this time around also mirrors this irreverence towards convention: the eternally strange EPROM makes his way into the fold on two tracks, one of which was an ethereal rework of SOPHIE’s “Is It Cold In The Water?” Meanwhile, “How To Build A Relationship,” featuring superior lyricism by JPEGMAFIA, arrives as an unearthly melding of warped bass and avant-garde rap.

Awe-inspiring too is the amount of impact Flume manages to squeeze into such a short time span. Most of the productions in Hi This Is Flume are two minutes or less, but are so cleverly engineered, texturized, and intricately layered that they feel as expansive as a piece that clocks in at triple the length. “Voices,” another powerhouse effort crafted with SOPHIE and Skin collaborator KUČKA, is biting, with glitchy effects galore, contrasting with dreamy, fluid undertones to facilitate a cerebral and fully loaded listening expedition in all of 115 seconds. The hazy, lo-fi tune “Daze 22.00” captivates with Eastern influence and viscous synthesis that make for an off-kilter combination, without proving too jarring. And optimism lives inside a single song in “Spring”—a gracious way to end such a stunning compilation, with its subtle, saccharine buoyancy.

It would be remiss not to mention the stunning visualizer that accompanies Hi This Is Flume. Crafted by Jonathan Zawada, who’s also behind Skin’s designwork, the video is as quixotic and crafty as the music beneath it. While the record is plenty enticing on its own, Zawada’s interpretation of it in a visual medium really bolsters the entire listening experience, with its swirling psychedelia and internal/external journey premise.

Hi This Is Flume points to a new era for Flume that sees an already remarkable artist stepping away from convention, while remaining accessible. The advanced sound design and clear step outside his creative cavern showcase a matured talent who continues to carve new niches in the modern electronic sphere where no artist formerly thought to look. With news of even more music on the horizon, Flume is poised to continue throwing himself from experimental precipices for the better.

 

 

Photo credit: Tyrone Bradley

Getter delivers wobbly, experimental trap cut on ‘Ham Sandwich’

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Getter delivers wobbly, experimental trap cut on ‘Ham Sandwich’Getter Visceral Album Release

Getter is becoming an expert at keeping fans on their toes. Whether he is quitting electronic music or just renouncing dubstep, the artist has switched creative directions plenty of times and thus proven he is far more than a one trick pony when it comes to manufacturing screeching synths and heavy drops.

Getter released full length album Visceral in 2018 after opening up about his desire to produce more than just the hard-hitting electronic music that catapulted him into stardom. The album spanned a bevy of genres, and the LP ultimately enjoyed widespread positive acclaim. At the time, some fans of his earlier, heavier handed sound expressed displeasure when the “Big Mouth” producer stepped away from his championed genre entirely, so now Getter is back and he’s giving the people what they want on his latest, “Ham Sandwich.” Well, sort of.

“Ham Sandwich” combines wobbly, wonky synth layers with a steady drum beat for a syrupy, downtempo drip that has all the makings of a menacing bass cut, but rather opts for a more laid back disposition that relies heavily on the experimental trap sound Getter fans know and love.

Photo Credit: Rukes

Jamie xx, Four Tet, Floating Points, and Daphni NTS mix is a music collector’s dream

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Jamie xx, Four Tet, Floating Points, and Daphni NTS mix is a music collector’s dreamJamie Four Tet Mi

Four of the most prolific audiophiles in electronica have come together to release a two-hour mix proving not only that music abides by no boundaries, rules, or expectations but also that artists, too, can share the AUX. Jamie xx, Four Tet, Floating Points, and Daphni took their talents to NTS Radio: an online underground radio station that clearly respects the Four Agreements with their tagline, “Don’t Assume.”

One record at a time, the mix tests the capacity of sound. Entering through an atmosphere of ambiance, the music traverses the boundaries of what one might find sonically appealing. Full vibrations run abound from all contributors, creating a space welcoming to infinite possibilities.

20 minutes in, the listener is in a completely different realm; abundant, soulful energy erupts. Jazz flute, funk horns, and vocals penetrate the space in an effortless sonic flow. The journey progresses into psychedelic rock, European folk, all while staying completely consistent in the task at hand. The mix isn’t demanding, but it does ask something of the listener: their mere attention. This is a mix not to hear but instead, to listen. With the mix, these four experimental geniuses have exuded a nod to true librarians of music with seamless poise.

Photo Credit: Mixmag

Feast your ears on Aphex Twin’s entire Warp discography, now streaming for free

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Feast your ears on Aphex Twin’s entire Warp discography, now streaming for freeAphe Twin Disography Warp Streaming

Lovers of strange and beautiful bleeps and bloops rejoice: Aphex Twin’s entire Warp Records discography can now be streamed entirely for free–including some juicy previously unreleased gems. Aphex Twin first appeared on the legendary imprint in the early 1990s with a four track EP titled On, and spent the next 25 years carving out a niche as a master of experimental analog electronica. Now, fans old and new can immerse themselves in over two decades of mind-melting releases for free via Warp’s online store.

The free streaming catalogue spans 25 releases, spanning tracks from the melancholic fan favorite “Avril 14th” to the bombastic “T69 collapse” from the producer’s recent Collapse EP. Aphex Twin’s albums and EPs feel as dizzyingly diverse and daring as they did upon release, and a listen back through the legend’s Warp classics (available in chronological or random order) is a worthwhile reminder of just how indelible a mark the mad scientist has left on the world of electronic music.

Photo Credit: Robert Ho

Lido is at it again with another new syrupy smooth single, ‘Outstanding’

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Lido is at it again with another new syrupy smooth single, ‘Outstanding’Lido Outstanding Single

Lido has been slowly releasing singles since mid-summer, stoking fans’ anticipation with the lavish “3 Million” and the sublime slow burn of “Corner Love” along with a handful of tracks for Chance The Rapper earlier this year. Now the Norwegian star is back with a third track in his new era called “Outstanding.” The song fits snugly into the creative headspace the producer has been revealing, sitting perfectly alongside the previous two releases. Lido graced fans with an limited capacity acoustic EP listening party in Los Angeles on Friday night, so it’s a safe bet to anticipate a full body of work soon.

For now, it’s more than enough to just get lost in Lido’s latest offering. “Outstanding” follows close in the footsteps of “Corner Love,” never once rushed or in the hurry. The track instead shifts into high gears through layer after layer of lush chords and vocals. The artist’s voice cascades in waves over the plodding beat, at once uplifting and bittersweet. “You will be outstanding all on your own girl,” croons Lido over the syrupy synths. The song is another more minimal R&B-influenced cut that promises a fresh direction from the artist’s forthcoming EP.

Photo Credit: Michael Ray Vera Cruz Angeles

DJ Koze goes beautifully bizarre on new track, ‘Hawaiian Soldier’

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DJ Koze goes beautifully bizarre on new track, ‘Hawaiian Soldier’Dj Koze Hawaiian Soldier

German producer DJ Koze is capable of playing with any genre or song structure he’s feeling. He proved just that with his recent album Knock Knock, a collection of fuzzy, guest-laden electronica. Despite his easily deployed drum beats, it’s easy to get the sense that Koze is always seconds from letting his sounds run rampant. That’s exactly what he’s done on “Hawaiian Soldier,” out now on Studio Barnhus Volym 1.

DJ Koze’s addition to the Studio Barnhus label compilation instantly veers into the strange — capped with a detuned bass line and punctuated by ear-tickling synth runs. The track expands into a mass of dreamy blips, bloops, distorted samples, and stuttering hi-hats. If Koze turned on everything in his studio and improv jam with every instrument, it may sound something like “Hawaiian Soldier.” Despite the dizzying sonic clouds, there’s a calm, dream-like soul to the song, which refuses to be tied to anything but the joy of noise.

Lido and Unge Ferrari put on experimental R&B clinic with ‘Corner Love’

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Lido and Unge Ferrari put on experimental R&B clinic with ‘Corner Love’Lido Corner Love Unge Ferrari

Lido has followed up his latest single “3 Million” with a spacious R&B slow burner called “Corner Love,” featuring fellow Norwegian Unge Ferrari. Like past songs by the multi-instrumentalist and producer, the track is a journey with multiple movements, beginning his own smoldering vocals that bring listeners into a mental lounge space. A bed of violins arrives out of nowhere for Ferrari to land for a raspy, auto-tuned verse. Lido returns for a soothing chorus before the strings explode into chaos, with a frantic vocal sample shouting above the fray.

The frenzy dies down for a final chapter with just Lido and a piano, which complete the song’s ethos with a tidy helping of lo-fi edits. “In a corner in the city there is someone like you,” sings the multi-talented artist, breaking the song’s ethos down to its purest and simplest form. As of yet, there’s no official news of on a second full length Lido album – but if this is the caliber of musical vision that fans can anticipate, it’s going to be more than worth the wait.

Oneohtrix Point Never releases entrancing new LP, ‘Age Of’

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With years of experience under his belt, Oneohtrix Point Never is a mainstay in the world of experimental composition. Following the 2017 soundtrack to the indie film Good Time and his recent Red Bull Music Academy performance, the prolific producer has returned with his new full length LP, Age Of.

The album, that spans 13 tracks, stands as Oneohtrix Point Never’s next exploration into the lush yet jarring soundscapes found in his catalog. The album begins in a subdued fashion, with vocal performances in songs like “Babylon” and “Black Snow” adding depth to the producer’s already massive skill-set. Sourcing outside help from James Blake, ANOHNI, and more, the LP reaches levels of precision that most producers could only dream of.

Octavian – Hands (Ryan Hemsworth Bootleg)

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Canadian electronic/hip-hop experimentalist Ryan Hemsworth released his second weekly bootleg this April, of which lead up to his upcoming US tour dates. This week’s heavily sped up bootleg of Octavian’s “Hands” follows last week’s subtle, daze-inducing take on Z Money’s “Two 16s.”

In his uptempo “Hands” rendition, Hemsworth paints a sample-ridden night sky, within which he features a twinkling melody accompanied by vast varieties of obscure, swiftly looping vocals.

Hemsworth will kick off his jam-packed spring schedule in late April, starting in DC and making his way through major cities like LA, San Diego, Denver, and finally Chicago in mid-May.

Austrian duo Leyya experiment with smooth sounds on ‘I Want You,’ ready for 2018

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Electro pop duo Leyya is set for a massive 2018, with over nine million streams to date and their debut album, Sauna, scheduled for release in late January. The Austrians are currently touring all over Europe, and, following the album’s release, they’ll be hitting every major stop until late April.

The duo, comprised of Sophie Lindinger and Marco Kleebauer, really hit the feels on their track “I Want You.” Kicking it off with a layered kick-clap rhythm with some added deep bass, the track smoothly progresses through soothing vocals, harmonizing electro-synths and other experimental sounds.

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