Very rarely can a project sound so scattered and wild while also being so smooth and intertwined, but this isn’t any ordinary producer we are dealing with here. Flume proved on 2016’s Skin that he can craft together a stellar full length piece of work, and on this latest mixtape he has confirmed this status and then some; working wonders on a soundscape tape that flows like one large track. It’s an experimental party meshed into one project.
Ever since Harley Edward Streten soared into the public eye as the Australian producer with the stage name ‘Flume’ in 2012, he has been hailed for the wonky electronic sounds his music possesses. The true pioneer of future bass, Flume’s stock has continued to rise as time goes on, ranging from his outrageous remix of Disclosure’s You & Me to his most successful commercial work to date, his 2016 album Skin; which features massive hits like Say It with Tove Lo and Never Be Like You with Kai. He has now returned with the full length follow-up to this in the form of Hi This Is Flume (Mixtape) and let me tell you this, it is a producer’s wet dream.
From the very first moments where Flume is telling us all “Hi This Is Flume” to the final embers of electronica on album closer Spring, the attention to detail put into this mixtape is frightening. It doesn’t miss a single beat and flows seamlessly together to basically create one long song, a tactic which actually manages to avoid the issues that usually arise with albums that can sometimes sound too cohesive. The variety of beat selection and sounds on this thing are an absolute joy to behold, from the pulsing synths on MUD to the glitzy chimes on Ecdysis; there is not a stone unturned in sight.
The features also warrant a mention on this thing, as each individual guest leaves their mark on the track they appear on. HWLS and Eprom provide the production sauce on their tracks, particularly the former who kills it with those distorted trap-inspired bass drums on High Beams (more on that track to come). The main name that will stick out to most is SOPHIE, the producer extraordinaire who dominated the electronic scene in 2018 with her eclectic and outlandish sound. Seeing her work with Flume on Voices and a stellar remix of SOPHIE’s Is It Cold In The Water? hit felt like a landmark moment for this new wave of future bass.
Vocal involvements came from previous collaborator Kučka on the aforementioned Voices, though she also produced on this song alongside SOPHIE and Flume; Northampton based rapper slowthai on High Beams and perhaps the most exciting of the bunch in JPEGMAFIA on How To Build A Relationship. What Peggy delivers here is an aggressive flexing bar-fest as he proves his worth over a mean instrumental; even taking the time out to nod to Flume and refer to himself as “Buttermilk Jesus AKA DJ Court Violation”. Brilliant.
This mixtape is exactly what Flume needed to do as a follow up to Skin. He needed a nasty, punchy project that could show off his credentials as a world class producer. Where Hi This Is Flume comes into it’s element is the focus, the drive and the obvious fine-tuning gone in to making it. Every single beat sounds tailor made and placed to perfection in the tracklisting and while it won’t have the memorable hits of old, it absolutely slaps and offers up some of the most interesting production you’ll hear all year long. Welcome back Flume, you don’t just set the bar, you make it almost unfathomable.