Australian DJ and producer Flume talks sets and playlists



Flume: The master of chill-hop at Sunburn Goa 2019

In 2020, Australian DJ and producer, Harley Streten aka Flume, will find out if he’s second time lucky at the Grammys. Nominated for his 2019 mixtape Hi This Is Flume, which presented a futuristic, experimental look at the ever-melding worlds of electronic music and hip-hop, he’s in the same category as electronic music titans such as The Chemical Brothers and forward-thinking producers such as Apparat, Tycho and fellow Aussie dance music group Rüfüs Du Sol, for Best Dance/Electronic Album.

Flume already won a Grammy in 2017 for his album, Skin, in the same category. Prior to that, he was a favourite in his home country, when he released a self-titled album in 2012. While earlier albums featured collaborations with fellow Aussie artistes such as Chet Faker, he has levelled up to include underground hip-hop’s rising stars like JPEGMAFIA and slowthai in more recent work. Along the way, he ticked off performances at top festivals such as Lollapalooza and Coachella in 2014.

Speaking about his DJ set at Sunburn Festival in Goa this weekend, marking his India début, Flume reflects on the nomination, “It is such a surprise, especially as it was such an experimental group of songs — it is really nice to be acknowledged amongst other artists I’m fans of too.” The genre-hopping playlist is essentially a mix of moods rather than any concept-bound, cohesive album. It is likely that you will hear songs off the record during his DJ set, which he says he’s still putting together. It is slightly more special for anyone heading to Sunburn this year, as this 13th edition will return to Goa after a three-year gap. It is a homecoming for electronic music fans as well as the festival, which has remained an early mainstay in the music festival scene in India, betting on electronic music just as its popularity was taking off globally.

In an e-mail interview with Weekend, Flume shares more on his process and approach to shows. Excerpts.

You’ve played around with live sets, so how do you treat your DJ sets?

The live show this year has been really fun to perform — I’ve enjoyed being able to mix things up and work some real world activities in. We’re seeing different reactions in different cities, too. This is a DJ set, so it is nice being able to play other music that’s not my own.

How do you keep learning?

Getting out of the studio has been really productive to making new music. I think I used to assume that putting more hours into the studio was the only way to get something done, but now, I have been focussing on finding good inputs to get good outputs.

What’s on your playlist right now?

I’ve been loving American singer Toro Y Moi, British rapper slowthai, London producer MssingNo, contemporary dance music by Quiet Bison, electro-pop from Caroline Polachek and electronic music by Mono/Poly.

What is the one track you want to hear during a New Year’s party?

Anything from Bicep (an electronic music duo from Belfast, Northern Ireland).

What else is coming up in 2020?

I’m heading back to LA pretty early in the year, and am excited to work on some new music. I’ll also be performing the new live show at a few festivals coming up. A couple are announced, like Ultra Miami and Electric Forest, and a few more are being announced soon.


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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 6:37:47 PM |

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