Travis Scott, more mixtapes, and an eye on the copy cats: seven things we learned from Flume’s recent Reddit AMA
Recently Flume stopped by Reddit for an AMA (ask me anything) with fans. The Q&A couldn’t have come at a more opportune time, taking place shortly after the release of Hi, This is Flume—a surprise visual mixtape that essentially halted electronic music in its tracks on March 20. The AMA also came after the Grammy Award-winning beatsmith, born Harley Streten, was announced as a headliner at this year’s iteration of Lollpalooza. After abruptly ending his production hiatus with a momentous new mixtape that seemingly came out of nowhere, fans’ questions were understandably stacking up, and luckily Flume was there to answer a handful of questions—hyping what should be a banner year for the Aussie experimentalist.
The AMA was even the release platform for an additional new surprise track, “Friends” featuring Reo Cragum. Though, with the loads of exciting information alluded to in the online Q&A, it’s nail down the best part. Here are Dancing Astronaut’s top seven highlights from Flume’s Reddit AMA:
A Travis Scott collaboration could materialize.
One of the most common questions in the AMA thread was about collaborators. Flume has always been a highly collaborative artist—hearing him wrap his effortlessly fluid production style round different artists is a major element of his appeal. But one fan specifically asked Streten about his thoughts on Travis Scott and if he thought a collaboration was viable. Flume’s answer reflected interest in collaborating with the “Sicko Mode” rapper, who also has a penchant for innovative sounds. Since the two are already connected on social media, Flume suggested a link could actually materialize.
More mixtapes like Hi, This is Flume are on the way
The day Hi, This is Flume landed, the overwhelming nature of music’s collective reaction made it hard to tell—was this actually another showstopper from a once-in-a-generation talent or were people just really starved for new Flume? As it turns out…both. But something about the mixtape’s surprise roll out suggested more was underway from the Skin producer, and during the AMA he confirmed he plans of delivering additional mixtapes and this spring’s project wasn’t just a one-off home run.
Expect Flume to strike a different balance going forward
Occasionally artists need to create for themselves, not their audiences. It seems counter-intuitive in some ways, but after two full length records and the never-ending press junkets and tours that ensue, Flume needed to take a break, then ultimately come back and make one for himself. When asked if he’ll continue to lean in this heavily experimental artistic direction, Streten suggested he’s going to cover, “Both ends of the spectrum baby.” Expect chart-toppers like “Never Be Like You” to rub shoulders with more unconventional cuts like “Daze 22.00” more often going forward.
Imitation is the highest form of flattery
Back to the notion of one for the fans, one for the artist. Flume’s self-titled debut LP, and his sophomore follow up, Skin are rife with fearless experimentation and avant-gardism, but his recent mixtape delivery was a decided departure in style from his first two long plays. When asked about the stylistic switch-up, Flume gave a succinct, yet telling answer. “I get bored, I can’t do the same thing over and over so [I’m] forced to change. Also people copy me,” replies the “Helix” producer. Flume is often credited by fans as the father of the future bass genre, essentially creating it and then allowing it to permeate into something relatively different from his own sound over time. Flume himself however doesn’t take much credit for pioneeringanything on his own, though here he gives a rare acknowledgement to the copy cats in his answer, suggesting he’s aware of the competition and he’s clearly still two steps ahead of them.
Flume and Arca would be a match made in heaven
The obligatory AMA question about dream collaborations inevitably had to come up, but in classic Flume fashion, the answer wasn’t some legendary songwriter or heavyweight vocalist. Flume reveals his dream collaborator to be Arca, which, when said out loud makes total sense. The pair would be two peas in the same experimental pod. Arca, known for credits on Kanye West‘s Yeezus and Björk‘s Utopia would be an obvious complement to Flume’s production style—hoping this one actually manifests in the future.
Ideas flowed easily on mixtape, but attention to detail made production more complicated
The caliber of detail packed into Hi, This Is Flume is staggering. From the mixtape’s teeming tracklist to the visualizer’s vibrant optical complements, the project was an exercise in free expression. While Streten admits the ideas flowed more easily on the recent mixtape, operating completely under one’s own creative direction means the attention to detail is magnified on a molecular level. Despite Hi, This is Flume being a liberating project to create, having the label at his back on his first two LP’s to provide creative direction and feedback, actually made the construction of Flume’s first two albums easier than making a mixtape solo.
Obligatory advice from one of electronic music’s current greats
Throughout the entire AMA, Flume maintains that his sound, his aesthetic, and ultimately his success has all been the product of relentless tinkering. Just boundless trail and error sessions that have, over time, molded one of electronic music’s brightest torch carriers. When asked to offer advice to an online forum full of fans and aspiring producers, Flume kept it simple and sweet. “Find your own production tricks/techniques. Download the most random plugins.” One size doesn’t fit all, according to Streten. The next Flume won’t come from someone trying to make the next “Holdin’ On”—rather, the next Flume should be the first of an entirely different species of producer.