Flume, born Harley Edward Streten, has been an artist on people’s radar for the past year and for good reason. His beats range from making you want to dance to making you feel like you’re floating away. The Australian born DJ’s first EP, Sleepless, was released in August of 2011. It was a three song sampler that didn’t get much attention aside from the title track. His self-titled debut album was released in November 2012 and received critical acclaim. On the album, Flume features vocalists such as Moon Holiday, Chet Faker, and T.Shirt. It wasn’t released in the US until February 2013. The delayed release date, however, was irrelevant; by the time his album dropped he had already gained fame from the pre-released singles. Later that year, he further collaborated with Chet Faker to create a three song EP titled LockJaw. He is currently doing an international tour hitting in both concert and festival form.
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10. Flume – Space Cadet feat. Ghostface Killa & Autre Ne Veut
Despite coming in at last place, this is still one of my favorites. It deviates from Flume’s usual style in that it is one of the few tracks to include original vocals. These vocals are provided by none other than former Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killa with backup vocals from Autre Ne Veut. Flume’s beat makes you feel like you’re in outer space and challenges Killa, giving him the opportunity to work in unfamiliar territory. Unfortunately, Killa disappoints and chooses to rap about the all too familiar topic of being the best. Had he chose a different topic, this song might be higher up on the list.
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9. Matt Miller x Kitler – Gravel Pit (Flume Remix)
For some reason the synth that carries throughout this song makes me think of Halloween. Flume uses various vocal samples to add to this song’s plethora of sounds. Rather than following the normal build up and drop pattern this song experiments with variations on a theme. The Halloween synth is constant, but the sounds that accompany it range from laser beams being fired to what sounds like an organ.
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8. Flume – Intro feat. Stalley
Opening simply with a piano, this song waits to introduce a slow kick drum, clap beat accompanied by a male falsetto voice giving it a somber feel. Then the song cuts to piano again and Stalley comes on preparing us for the rap he is about to deliver. The simple beat comes back in as he talks about growing up and the struggles that came with it. Some high pitch distorted vocals sometimes come in the accompany him, but for the most part it’s him and the beat. Stalley’s voice begins to echo and slowly fade away until it is just the high pitched vocals and piano, which eventually cut out too.
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7. Flume – Holdin On
Despite being shorter than an average Flume song, this song packs a lot. Rather than putting the vocals at the forefront, this song uses its soulful vocals as another noise during the upswings of the song. These vocals are accompanied by a one of Flume’s hardest beats and loads of outer space noises. Some sound like space bubbles, others space wind chimes.
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6. Flume – Insane feat. Moon Holiday
Featuring Moon Holiday, Flume really puts her in the spotlight. Opening up with the track her unedited vocals and a hollow resonating synth behind her, it quickly turns to a Flume song in that her vocals become distorted and a vigilant airy beat comes in. Another unedited refrain comes next and is then followed by a return to Flumes beats, this time with more complexity. Now a distorted car alarm whines in the background and is used to build into the drops. The song ends by fading out each sound until there is a lone sound which accordingly cuts to silence.
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5. Lorde – Tennis Court (Flume Remix)
Everyone’s favorite New Zealander, Lorde, supplied Flume with the vocal sample to shape this song around. As a result his drops follow the pattern of Lorde’s emphasis on different words. The entire song has a floating in outer space feel to it, but the wubs of the drop make you feel like you are absolutely lighter than air. I love the other samples like “Oh!,” a horse neigh, and a discrete laugh here and there. I think Flume does an exceptional job of both respecting and maintaining the vocal beauty of the song while still making it his own.
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4. Rustie – Slasherr [Flume Edit]
This song samples a female vocalist that has been edited so much that they are incomprehensible but, more to Flume’s norm, focuses on the beat. It starts with a calm sound of gritty distortion which reminds me a space clarinet. With the addition of drums, it quickly builds into rapid hi-hats and snares and then drops to a beat that sounds like someone skating across lasers. A second drop comes later with more intricate kick drums building up and then dropping to a basic clap accompanied by the female vocals carries the song to its end.
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3. Hermitude – HyperParadise (Flume Remix)
This song starts out sounding like a pump up jam with its claps and distorted vocals saying “go.” Then come in the keyboard and soon more affected vocals. A discreet beat sneaks its way in and then, rising in pitch, leads us to our drop, which focuses on inaudible vocals. Later in the song things start to feel poppy and jumpy, like a video game or something. What sounds like a robot moving brings us into another drop. This one is very built up, with laser noises and everything, only to drop, not into a heavier beat, but into a slow, swing-type of tempo. The song ends with the inaudible vocals becoming clearer and saying “never have to worry.”
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2. Flume & Chet Faker – Drop The Game
This is currently my favorite song. The vocals are beautiful and, as I said before, Flume does an amazing job of showcasing the vocals without losing his style. Here he does so by alternating his harder beats with Chet Faker’s vocals. By the end the Flume adds more layers behind Faker’s vocals and the alternating becomes less clear. The message “Hush I said there’s more to life than rush” is a wondrous one that all people need to hear. Even without all that, I would love any song that was accompanied by a video as beautifully simplistic as this one.
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1. Disclosure – You & Me (Flume Remix)
The obvious choice, the song that got Flume his fame, I played it non-stop for at least three days when I first found it. This is the epitome of the Flume floating feeling. He really took off with this song and changed it into something entirely different. This is unlike the other remixes in that he only sampled one vocal line for the entire song. The violins beautifully lead into the heavy wub-wub of the song accompanied by a kick drum and some hi-hats. The echoing dreamlike voice adds to the floating feeling that I love. Then, in typical Flume style, the song returns to a lull, only to build back up again, this time with claps added in, and drop to the heavy wub-wubs. There you go, that’s my top ten Flume songs, let me know if you disagree.