During the mid to late 20th century Australia was well known for some of its amazing rock bands. Greats like AC/DC, INXS, and the Bee Gees proved to be some of the worlds best rock groups and were a major part of that music scene. However, as of late, there has been a shift. Now Australia is known for its electronic music. Artists like Cut Copy, Chet Faker, and Empire of the Sun have created a new standard for what Australian music is; experimental and electronic based. On top of those fantastic acts, there is no other artist who really sets that standard quite like Harley Edward Streten, better known as Flume.
Harley was born on the 5th of November 1991 (yup, he’s only 22) in Sydney. During his early teenage years, Streten started creating music with a basic production disc that he got in a box of cereal. In 2010 he started to produce house music and remix other tracks under the stage name HEDS. Here is one of his first tracks.
In 2011 Streten entered an original artists competition put on by the Australian record company Future Classic. He submitted the tracks “Paper Thin”, “Over You”, and “Sleepless” and went on to win. After winning, Flume released his self-titled debut album through Future Classic in Australia. Flume collaborated with Chet Faker, Moon Holiday and Jezzabell Dorna for vocals on the album. Right away Flume was noticed, and people were falling in love with this new atmospheric sound.
About 4 months later in February 2013, he released his album in the US through Mom + Pop Music. Flume received the same amount of praise over here too. There was a new sound on the scene; it was refreshing and something new. Taking inspiration from house and UK garage music, a new style had been born. In a sense it was recognizable because it came from something so popular. But in another it was completely different, breaking boundaries and rewriting the rules.
Since his debut album, Flume released Lockjaw, collaborating with Chet Faker for the 3 track extended play. He has also remixed over a dozen songs, in most cases completely reworking them and creating something way better than the original. One of his first was “Hyperparadise” by Hermitude. This track is now instantly recognizable. Another was Disclosure’s “You & Me”. As both artists were getting popular, this track really took off, garnering praise from the entire music world. Then previously this year Harley took on Lorde’s track, “Tennis Court”. Wow, was this something special. With its surprising wavy drops, it hits you all of a sudden and draws you in instantly. Finally, he most recently remixed “Afterlife” by Arcade Fire, his biggest name yet. Keeping with his experimental nature, Flume created something that seemed brand new yet again. A 10 minute long song, it slowly builds up and creates an atmosphere that draws the listener in and doesn’t let go until it’s over. It captivates on another level and is hopefully indicative of something to come.
What’s next for Flume? Last week a new single was leaked, but his record label took it down almost immediately (we found another link! check it out before it's gone). This new work is a promising sign. He has also been working hard with fellow Australian producer/DJ Emoh Instead. Last November they came together to form What So Not and released “Jaguar” on SoundCloud. Their music is extremely unique as well. A bit similar to Flume’s solo work, it builds up slowly, but instead has heavier drops with more bass. It’s not as wavy as Flume’s original stuff, but is just as good. Hopefully we get some more original work soon, from either project. His experimental sounds keep it interesting and stand above most electronic music that is produced today.
By Ben Lowden