Travis Scott, more mixtapes, and an eye on the copy cats: seven things we learned from Flume’s recent Reddit AMA

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Travis Scott, more mixtapes, and an eye on the copy cats: seven things we learned from Flume’s recent Reddit AMAFlume Performing At Festival

Recently Flume stopped by Reddit for an AMA (ask me anything) with fans. The Q&A couldn’t have come at a more opportune time, taking place shortly after the release of Hi, This is Flumea surprise visual mixtape that essentially halted electronic music in its tracks on March 20. The AMA also came after the Grammy Award-winning beatsmith, born Harley Streten, was announced as a headliner at this year’s iteration of Lollpalooza. After abruptly ending his production hiatus with a momentous new mixtape that seemingly came out of nowhere, fans’ questions were understandably stacking up, and luckily Flume was there to answer a handful of questions—hyping what should be a banner year for the Aussie experimentalist.

The AMA was even the release platform for an additional new surprise track, “Friends” featuring Reo Cragum. Though, with the loads of exciting information alluded to in the online Q&A, it’s nail down the best part. Here are Dancing Astronaut’s top seven highlights from Flume’s Reddit AMA:

A Travis Scott collaboration could materialize.

One of the most common questions in the AMA thread was about collaborators. Flume has always been a highly collaborative artist—hearing him wrap his effortlessly fluid production style round different artists is a major element of his appeal. But one fan specifically asked Streten about his thoughts on Travis Scott and if he thought a collaboration was viable. Flume’s answer reflected interest in collaborating with the “Sicko Mode” rapper, who also has a penchant for innovative sounds. Since the two are already connected on social media, Flume suggested a link could actually materialize.

More mixtapes like Hi, This is Flume are on the way

The day Hi, This is Flume landed, the overwhelming nature of music’s collective reaction made it hard to tell—was this actually another showstopper from a once-in-a-generation talent or were people just really starved for new Flume? As it turns out…both. But something about the mixtape’s surprise roll out suggested more was underway from the Skin producer, and during the AMA he confirmed he plans of delivering additional mixtapes and this spring’s project wasn’t just a one-off home run.

Expect Flume to strike a different balance going forward

Occasionally artists need to create for themselves, not their audiences. It seems counter-intuitive in some ways, but after two full length records and the never-ending press junkets and tours that ensue, Flume needed to take a break, then ultimately come back and make one for himself. When asked if he’ll continue to lean in this heavily experimental artistic direction, Streten suggested he’s going to cover, “Both ends of the spectrum baby.” Expect chart-toppers like “Never Be Like You” to rub shoulders with more unconventional cuts like “Daze 22.00” more often going forward.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery

Back to the notion of one for the fans, one for the artist. Flume’s self-titled debut LP, and his sophomore follow up, Skin are rife with fearless experimentation and avant-gardism, but his recent mixtape delivery was a decided departure in style from his first two long plays. When asked about the stylistic switch-up, Flume gave a succinct, yet telling answer. “I get bored, I can’t do the same thing over and over so [I’m] forced to change. Also people copy me,” replies the “Helix” producer. Flume is often credited by fans as the father of the future bass genre, essentially creating it and then allowing it to permeate into something relatively different from his own sound over time. Flume himself however doesn’t take much credit for pioneeringanything on his own, though here he gives a rare acknowledgement to the copy cats in his answer, suggesting he’s aware of the competition and he’s clearly still two steps ahead of them.

Flume and Arca would be a match made in heaven

The obligatory AMA question about dream collaborations inevitably had to come up, but in classic Flume fashion, the answer wasn’t some legendary songwriter or heavyweight vocalist. Flume reveals his dream collaborator to be Arca, which, when said out loud makes total sense. The pair would be two peas in the same experimental pod. Arca, known for credits on Kanye West‘s Yeezus and Björk‘s Utopia would be an obvious complement to Flume’s production style—hoping this one actually manifests in the future.

Ideas flowed easily on mixtape, but attention to detail made production more complicated

The caliber of detail packed into Hi, This Is Flume is staggering. From the mixtape’s teeming tracklist to the visualizer’s vibrant optical complements, the project was an exercise in free expression. While Streten admits the ideas flowed more easily on the recent mixtape, operating completely under one’s own creative direction means the attention to detail is magnified on a molecular level. Despite Hi, This is Flume being a liberating project to create, having the label at his back on his first two LP’s to provide creative direction and feedback, actually made the construction of Flume’s first two albums easier than making a mixtape solo.

Obligatory advice from one of electronic music’s current greats

Throughout the entire AMA, Flume maintains that his sound, his aesthetic, and ultimately his success has all been the product of relentless tinkering. Just boundless trail and error sessions that have, over time, molded one of electronic music’s brightest torch carriers. When asked to offer advice to an online forum full of fans and aspiring producers, Flume kept it simple and sweet. “Find your own production tricks/techniques. Download the most random plugins.” One size doesn’t fit all, according to Streten. The next Flume won’t come from someone trying to make the next “Holdin’ On”—rather, the next Flume should be the first of an entirely different species of producer.

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

Flume expounds on his signature sound with surprise mixtape, ‘Hi, This is Flume’ [Stream]

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Flume expounds on his signature sound with surprise mixtape, ‘Hi, This is Flume’ [Stream]Flume Sacks E1469509492304

It has been nearly three years since Flume‘s sophomore LP, SkinAt the time, it was hard to image the Aussie beatsmith outdoing his self-titled 2012 debut, though with his second studio LP, the former What So Not proponent effortlessly propelled himself to Grammy Award-winning greatness with the likes of Kai, Beck, AlunaGeorge, and Vic Mensa in tow. Back in January, Flume promised new music was expected to land in 2019, then without much more than a day’s notice, announced the delivery of a surprise new mixtapeHi, This is Flume on March 20.

Now, Flume’s latest body of work is available in full, and the three-year gap since his last full release proves to be well worth the wait. Capping out at 17 tracks with a accentuating visualizer, Hi, This is Flume showcases evident growth from the “Never Be Like You” producer while still managing to hold true to Flume’s beloved brand of off-kilter, genre-twisting appeal across the tape’s 38-minute run time.

Lollapalooza soundtracks summer teaser with new Flume ID [Watch]

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Lollapalooza soundtracks summer teaser with new Flume ID [Watch]Flume Michael Drummond

Flume‘s surprise mixtape, Hi, This is Flumeis set to land any minute now, and as fans eagerly await the Aussie beat guru’s highly anticipated return, the good news just keeps pouring in. The Skin producer was just announced as a headliner at Lollapalooza this summer, signaling a huge swell in momentum for the beloved electronic experimenter. To hype the Chicago iteration of the festival this summer, Lollapalooza has dropped off a short teaser announcing ticket sales, featuring a brand new, yet-to-be identified cut from Flume.

The “Summer is Coming” trailer, which might even succeed in plugging Flume’s return more than the actual festival, features clips of the iconic summer gathering at Grant Park, soundtracked by the delightfully off-kilter clinks and clicks that only Harley Streten can do so well. Chopped vocals and rubbery percussive breaks come together with a charming, cinematic appeal in the new ID, and if the nameless track is any indicator of the impending mixtape Flume has promised, everyone is in for quite the treat.

 

Flume announces incoming mixtape

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Flume announces incoming mixtapeFlume Live David Wolff Patrickredferns

The wait for new Flume material is nearly over.

It’s been more than two years since the release of Skin Companion EP 2, and the talented producer has finally surfaced with a major announcement: a new mixtape, titled Hi This Is Flume, hits the airwaves on March 20. In the time since his last release, Flume’s been largely quiet on social media, only surfacing from time to time to share photos of his travels.

At the end of 2018, the Australian producer promised in a tweet that next year he’d “be back in your life,” and now it’s finally time.

Photo credit: Photo by David Wolff – Patrick/Redferns

Defrost with Lane 8’s sumptuous ‘Spring 2019 Mixtape’ [Stream]

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Defrost with Lane 8’s sumptuous ‘Spring 2019 Mixtape’ [Stream]Lane 8 George Fitzgerald Burns Remies

Each individual season bears witness to the release of a new Lane 8 mixtape, which concurrently arrives just as one season gracefully begins to fade into the next. Lane 8 imitates the gradual, seamless nature of seasonal transition through the fluidity of his mixing of his “Spring 2019 Mixtape.” The three-hour offering is an extended soundscape that unfurls with the poise of a spring flower newly beginning to bud. The mix melds melodic cuts with percussively driven tech house and house inclusions, for a balanced amalgamation of the viscous and the vigorous.

Serial testaments to Lane 8’s curative finesse, the seasonally inspired mixtapes consistently merge Lane 8 originals with remixes from some of electronic music’s most savvy producers. Case in point, the “Spring 2019 Mixtape” corrals Solomun‘s re-imagination of “You’re Not Alone” with Luke Alessi’s take on “Deja Vu,” and Patrice Bäumel‘s polished reboot of Claptone‘s “La Esperanza.” These remixes are but the tip of the sonic iceberg, as Bonobo, Luttrell, Jeremy Olander, and a slew of other artists receive nods from Lane 8 in the mixtape. Lane 8 defrosts streamers’ winter hearts, to stir their spring souls with his “Spring 2019 Mixtape.”

Photo credit: Jason Siegel

Lane 8 showcases serene soundscapes in new winter mixtape

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Lane 8 showcases serene soundscapes in new winter mixtapeDSC 0085 Copy

Lane 8 has squared away 2018 with the release of his winter mixtape. He’s gracefully arranged four lengthy mixes over the course of 2018 that uniquely embody the not just the nature of their respective seasons, but the transformative essence of those seasons changing.

Through his fall 2018 mixtape, Lane 8 sonically thread warm and bright vibrations together with the moods evoked of changing colors and longer nights. His summer mix set the scene for waves crashing on beaches and warm breezes. The spring mixtape took listeners into this year with grace, through a soundscape that pollen could dance on. With each mix Lane 8 has accomplished the personal, trying, and unique feat of giving a portion of time — and the change that happens during that time — a sonic stamp.

The winter 2018 mixtape is no exception. Through four hours of fluid mixing and careful, hand-picked arrangement, Lane 8 has given this winter his stamp. Starting in with his own remix of Virtual Self‘s “Ghost Voices,” Lane 8 starts guiding his listeners into the mix, gliding over the icy inhibitions and harsh winds of the season. By an hour and a half into the mix, he hits listeners with the Yotto edit of Fatima Yamaha’s haunting “What’s a Girl to Do.” Through the acts of Jon Hopkins, Rampa, Eelke Kleijn, Black Coffee, Dirty South, the crews of Anjunadeep, All Day I Dream, and many more, Lane 8 finds an enjoyable, quintessential feeling that unifies the chill of winter with the warmth within people who not only withstand the cold it but love it.

Lane 8 has been putting these seasonal mixes for a few years now, and with each passing year, they’ve become more refined and more needed, bringing out the best of each season. This winter mix evokes visions of fur rugs, fireplaces, and snow falling softly outside wooden-frame windows — cozy spots where one would hope to be posted for a quick four hours in the upcoming months. Now, thanks to Lane 8, those moments have a perfect soundtrack.

David Guetta confirms new alias Jack Back, releases extensive tech house mixtape

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David Guetta confirms new alias Jack Back, releases extensive tech house mixtapeDavid Guetta New Album 7

David Guetta is a busy man. With his upcoming artist album, on the way, the international star has revealed he’s behind the alias Jack Back right as he released another long form project as the Jack Back Mixtape. Here, he’s connected house and techno to further boost his credibility in the production booth.

In 2012, an artist named Jack Back emerged as the artist behind the now multi-platinum single “Wild One Two.” The track featured David Guetta, Sia and Nicky Romero, and after its release, Jack Back went radio silent. That is, until recently, when a new track entitled “Overtone” emerged from the artist. Shockingly different from the artist’s former work, the single had a late night sensibility, with techno influences and brooding progressions. Obviously the work of a seasoned producer, speculation began circulating that the single was the return of the David Guetta alter ego, and it continued as Jack Back released “(It Happens) Sometimes” via Defected Records, “Reach For Me,” and finally “Grenade.”

But it isn’t until now that David Guetta has confirmed he is indeed behind the music, releasing a 12-track mixtape featuring all new music from his revived alias. The Jack Back Mixtape marks a pivotal moment for Guetta as he gears up to release his next electro dance-pop artist album, 7. As Jack Back, he’s signaled a reminder of his talent as a producer through the history of his work in house music. While may be an upcoming reminder of his pop prominence, this mixtape is a reminder of how he got there. Conquering a range of techno, tech house and house sounds, Guetta as Jack Back connects the dots between the house music of his early years to today’s deeper underground sounds.

Malaa drops first single off of forthcoming ‘Illegal Mixtape Vol. 2’

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Malaa drops first single off of forthcoming ‘Illegal Mixtape Vol. 2’Malaa Charly Chivteam

The infamous masked Parisian beatmaker Malaa is back with new music. This time, we have a new original work titled, “Bling Bling.” The track is the first release off of the “Kurupt” producer’s forthcoming Illegal Mixtape Vol. 2, slated for a fall release via Tchami‘s Confession imprint. The new cut comes hot off the heels of Malaa’s 21st “Who Is Malaa” mix installment.

The track leans on playful, energetic house features, driven by vocals that propel the tune into an intricate drop capped by a barrage of bouncing synth layers. Promoting the new mixtape project underway, Malaa will be kicking off a fall tour to accompany the release. See the dates below and expect to hear this one out on the road, its a shuffle-ready crowd pleaser from front to back.

MALAA ILLEGAL TOUR 2018
OCT 11 CODA TORONTO, ON
OCT 12 1896 STUDIOS & STAGES BROOKLYN, NY
OCT 13 ECHOSTAGE WASHINGTON DC
NOV 2 RUSSELL INDUSTRIAL CENTER DETROIT, MI
NOV 3 NEW CITY GAS MONTREAL, QC
NOV 8 TO BE ANNOUNCED
NOV 9 TO BE ANNOUNCED
NOV 15 CONCOURSE PHILADELPHIA, PA
NOV 16 IRONWOOD HALL AUSTIN, TX
NOV 17 CANTON HALL DALLAS, TX
DEC 7 TO BE ANNOUNCED
DEC 8 45 EAST PORTLAND, OR
DEC 14 TO BE ANNOUNCED
DEC 15 SHOWBOX SODO SEATTLE, WA

Catch a vibe with Colby J’s new ‘Mid Summer Night’s Dream’ mixtape

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Colby J is building a name for himself concocting well-rounded blends of disco, funk, soul, and blog era house, bringing his deep crates together to create a growing series of dynamic mixtapes. While there’s no shortage of LA-based up-and-comers tinkering with 808 drum arrangements and 909 snares, Colby J rather draws his inspiration in the likes of LCD, Soulwax, Tiga, and Holy Ghost, among others, and his indie-dance sensibilities undoubtedly shine in his newest mixtape titled “Mid Summer Night’s Dream.” For those with a sophisticated palate looking for an exceptionally well balance mix, reach for some headphones and turn on Colby J’s newest mixtape.

With a growing list of upcoming shows, and with his debut original material rumored to be in the works, expect Colby J to keep providing soothing sonics all summer long.

T R A C K L I S T

1. Shock Machine – “Open Up The Sky” (Soulwax Remix)
2. Mura Masa – “Love$ick” ft. A$AP Rocky (Four Tet Remix)
3. Robert Palmer – “Every Kind Of People” (JN Multicultural Multitrack Mix)
4. My Neighbor Is – “Little Freak”
5. Sadevillain – “Hold On Vaughn”
6. RockNRolla Soundsystem – “Morganton North Carolina”
7. Led Zeppelin – “Whole Lotta Love”
8. Adrian Gurvitz – “New World”
9. Mary Wilson – “Red Hot” (NY Edit)
10. Minako Yoshida – “Black Moon”
11. Devandra Banhart – “Santa Maria de Feira”
12. Cerrone – “Hooked” (Kon Remix)
13. JKriv – “The Queen On Her Throne”
14. J.M. Black – “Lipstick” (Shout)
15. Jean Guy Ruff – “Covergirl”
16. Paul Rudder/Tete De La Course – “Makin’ The Magic”
17. Stephene Deschezeaux – “On The Line”
18. Dimitri From Paris – “Flight To Jamaica”
19. Felix Leifur – “Berg Toppur” (Hidden Spheres Rocky Top Remix)
20. The Revenge – “Conkers”
21. Sharpio – “Dance Drone (We Can Make Your Body Move)”
22. Oliver Boogie – “Can’t Get Away”
23. Blutch – “Time After Time”

 

6.2 – The Echoplex (Silverlake)b2b Rambo w/ Darius, Kartell (Live)
6.20 – Friends w/ Benefits @ The Friend Bar w/ Adam After Hours
7.21 – The Saguaro (Palm Springs)w/ Sabio