Flume-Step: The sonic evolution of today’s modern day Mozart
Check out this vintage Triple J Unearthed profile here. This was going way back, even before ‘HEDS’. There’s two tracks on there.
Flume and Jezzabel Doran actually go way back. Like, I’m talking way before hashtags. When Myspace was a thing way back. And if you click here, you can hear the ORIGINAL version of Sleepless. The original Sleepless was actually a collaboration between Flume and Jezzabel which sounds nothing like the version you’ve heard. They were a duo called Antony For Cleopatra. When Flume first released his Sleepless EP, it was released as “‘Sleepless’ feat. Antony for Cleopatra”. However, when he released his debut album, it became “Sleepless feat. Jezzabel Doran”. The version you’ve heard is a re-work — it’s basically a remix of the original track. Don’t quote me on this but I know that Flume felt the original had potential so instead of binning it, he decided to work on it.
Here’s a video of the original just in case the song on Myspace doesn’t load.
The original version of ‘Over You’ with Jezzabel. Originally titled, ‘TV Rock’…
And for more of the duo’s collaboration, check out the Antony For Cleopatra demo.
During this time, he also created under his pre-Flume moniker, HEDS.
Flume was born. “It looked good on paper.” That’s what he would say whenever he was asked where he got his name from, off course not before telling them it was the name of a song by Bon Iver. In 2011, he would go on to win a remix competition to be a part of the Future Classic label and one of Triple J’s Unearthed competition for a spot in the Sydney music festival, Field Day.
And off course he joined forces with Chris Emerson to create What So Not.
“Tribal House” they labeled their first few uploads on Soundcloud. What’s really apparent in the What So Not project was their percussive work and how diverse it was. Starting from the more conventional 4-to-the-floor beat, then taking a direction towards Moonbahton and Trap. Although more known for his DJ’ing and beats, Chris Emerson was actually a drummer and it’s safe to say Flume probably owes a lot to Emoh for his percussive work.
Flume finally debuts his self titled album after returning from a Europe trip with a friend. Others tried to replicate the same sound, taking influences from Flume’s music, calling it ‘Future Bass’. He had his own name for it – ‘Flume-Step’. No one came close to recreating this new-found genre.
And no one was creating remixes like this. Flume became the face of Future Classic and Modular records became a thing of the past. I love you, Steve Pavlovic but Future Classic has taken the reigns.
Flume and Nick Murphy team up again. They decide to lock themselves up in a holiday beach house to work on some tunes together. And the result…
…just more infectious melodies.
While the rest of the world catches up, Flume is honing his signature sound. Taking an already amazing song by Disclosure, You and Me, describing it as “Orchestral Crunkwave”, he drops this remix…
2 years after his debut album and a shitload of touring, we patiently wait for Flume’s next record. In the meantime he gifts us with this remix of Lorde’s ‘Tennis Court’…
And to show his diversity in sound, a ten minute rework of Arcade Fire’s ‘Afterlife’. Many believed this was the decline of Flume. Boy, were they wrong.
Shortly after announcing that he would leave What So Not, Flume revealed that he had been in the studio working on a bunch of new music. And shortly after announcing that, we finally got a teaser of the possible direction Flume was going to take. Firstly he dropped a remix of Sam Smith’s ‘Lay Me Down’ followed by an original, ‘Some Minds’ featuring Andrew Wyatt from Miike Snow and finally a remix of Collarbones’ Turning. You can definitely hear a focus on the sound design aspect through these releases; there were offbeat rhythms, sounds that were more spacial, cinematic and ambient and very Jaar-esque sounds coming through. Oh, the magic of sidechaining and reverb.
Early 2016, a 4 minute album teaser was released. Later that month, ‘Never Be Like You’ feat. Kai was released by Future Classic. And then in April, BBC1 premiered ‘Say It’ feat. Tove Lo. He perfected it. You know that cross-over sound of experimental yet melodically simple. Just listen to the uniqueness of his percussive work.
And before we hit the halfway mark of the year, Flume finally released his sophomore album, Skin.
2017 (so far…)
Shortly after claiming his first Grammy, Flume treats us with another Skin companion EP.
(You can’t fault this following song…)
Oh Harley, just stop it already will ya? I’m so in love with this. What is it even? There’s still no one making this sort of music… at least not of the same calibre. I still play his first album like mad.
Gee, that chorus is just pop at its best. Very Max Martin-esque. I love it so much.
Anyone’s who ever built a sand castle could tell you that one of the hardest things about life is that the world seems indifferent to your desires. You can keep rebuilding your sandcastle for as long as you like and the ocean will just keep smashing it down.
But the idea of a indifferent universe is hard for human beings to swallow. We like to think we’re a bit more important than that. So, for many sandcastle builders, the idea of an indifferent universe is replaced by a cruel one. You know, where the universe actually wants to make you suffer.
And if you do believe, as many of the Romantics of the 19th Century did, that the universe is essentially hostile then you can easily end up spending your life fighting a one-woman war against reality. This is what we find Beth Ditto doing in The Gossip’s song, ‘Heavy Cross’.
Historically, when people have found themselves faced with a meaningless universe, they’ve invented religions and the Romantics were no different. In Richard Wagner’s opera – Tristan and Isolde; Tristan, the hero gives up on reality for good. To him, life is so pointless as to resemble a foolish dream, an illusion which will past. But he can afford to say this because he’s found something better. No, not Jesus but romantic love.
This was in many ways a brand new kind of 19th Century love. In romantic love, the loved one becomes a personification of the possibility of happiness. And love becomes the means by which the lovers can transcend their meaningless world.
It’s almost like the old romantic dilemma; the individual against reality has been re-written for two — the odds are still against them but when they’re beaten, their deaths can be seen as sacrifices to an ideal. As is the case in ‘Tristan and Isolde’, or ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie, or Peter Cetera’s, ‘The Glory of Love’.