Following his 2016 LP, Flume has become a go-to electronic artist for me. In the aftermath of his Skin album, he also dropped two companion EPs. That year was the first time I dove deep into Flume. His tracks are vibrant and full of texture. He layers alien percussion with zany synths edited to perfection. During my first run through this mixtape, Flume blew me away. His latest release is a psychedelic digital glitch-storm of pure delight. While listening to Hi This is Flume, you will experience engaging and infectious lead melodies. The soundscapes found here are insane. Instrumentals vary from busy to ethereal to out-of-this-world fun. It’s honestly difficult for me to choose a favorite. However, I have to roll with the opening song. “Ecdysis” flows so effortlessly out of the schizophrenic opening interlude. The first track from Skin, “Helix” is also my favorite.
Clearly, Flume has a distinct vision in mind. When he crafts a project he tells his story through inventive sounds and astute guest selections. Although his signature style carries weight across a bulk of these tracks, Hi This is Flume manages to carve a unique place in the Aussie’s discography. One of the most compelling aspects of Flume’s artistry to me is having that signature sound without repackaging it over and over to his fan base. He strives for fresh ideas in a genre where many producers simply milk their sounds until they disappear. Here he teams with pop super-producer SOPHIE (who should have won a Grammy). Even though his remix of her higher-dimensional ballad didn’t knock my socks off, I hope these two continue to work together in the near future. She contributes her pen and production skills on “Voices,” featuring Kučka. The track exudes innovative pop prowess.
Additionally, this mixtape is a great starting point for any new Flume fan. It runs only 38 minutes in length, livening up whatever you may be doing before, during, or after it finishes. New York native JPEGMAFIA lays down antisocial lyrical acrobatics on “How to Build a Relationship.” I will be yelling “Don’t call me… unless I gave you my number” for weeks to come. Like I mentioned before, Flume’s sound echoes throughout these 17 tracks seamlessly. Hi This is Flume is a masterclass on fluid cohesion. Only two transitions fail to leave an impression. Despite my affection for this tape, I do wish it ended on a higher note. Both “Amber” and “Spring” pale in comparison in terms of stickiness. They came and went without much resistance. For a project as intricate as this, I would’ve liked a resounding finish to put it over the edge of brilliant.
Nevertheless, there is enough impressive material here to last another two years at least. Dance and electronic music are broadening by the month, it seems. With this release Flume positions himself towards the top of the contemporary totem. There is no need to skip a single track. Of course, it wouldn’t be blasphemous if you did. Yet the fluidity of this tape might be its greatest characteristic. His tracks progress organically while also achieving unpredictability. Sick artwork, a captivating complementary visualizer, and consistent quality show me Flume put his all into this effort. If his next project is anything like this I will be salivating at the chance to hear it. In the meantime, however, Hi This is Flume exceeds my expectations. It earned a steady slot in my start-to-finish album rotation. Who needs shuffle when an artist spreads their creative conviction onto a silver platter for you?