Flume is, for all intents and purposes, on top of the world right now. The kid producer – who Brother J, astoundingly, got onto so long ago that we got the wunderkind to mint us a mixtape – just turned 21. With his debut, self-titled LP out this week, a swag of nominations kicking around for best new thing or thereabouts and now the ability to legally order drinks in the next nation to inevitably be charmed by his pitch-adjusting, crunk-producing, sensational-sampling ways, the young lad from Sydney has far surpassed the one-hit-wonder status many might have thought he’d occupy after putting out an awesome, dreamy track named ‘Sleepless‘ last year. The hype surrounding ‘Flume’ is astounding, the word-of-mouth driving his success still more, but it’s the way his brand of chopped-and-screwed electronica, deeply funky and perennially bouncy music has captured the popular imagination which is perhaps most impressive. At festivals, in clubs, on the radio and in the privacy of people’s own earbuds, Flume is blowing up.
But while the future for the Sydney-based producer is potentially blindingly bright, I’ve chosen to look to the recent past today to examine what is, I would hazard to suggest, one of the best electronic dance tracks to come out of (and duly consume) this fair country in yonks. Before lavishing still more praise on the prodigy, it is useful and necessary to acknowledge that Hermitude, an Australian hip-hop duo from the Blue Mountains, just north of here, producers of are in a big way responsible for oiling the great hulking machine that is the Flume bandwagon. Under all of the tightening up, Flumazzling, slotting build-ups, handclaps and drops in every nook and cranny they could possibly exist, is a track that is tropically-infused and fundamentally brilliant. This year’s Parklife festival was chock full of stellar acts but these local lads probably impressed most with live instrumentation, remixing and an intrinsic ability to get kids to dance when the sun wasn’t even yet overhead and their drugs were yet to kick in.
The sweet irony wasn’t lost on me as we trooped our way across from Flume’s stage to hear Hermitude drop the very tune that he’d made them so renowned for, right at the same moment that the young producer probably played this track to close his own set. Having the same tune blaring out of mammoth speakers within walking distance of each other might have been a problem with any other song. But not since, well, ‘Sleepless’ has a track with chipmunk-style vocals that don’t seem to really say anything (my personal favourite is ‘mama don’t you worry’) been driven so far into the collective psyche of this nation’s youth that even doubled over itself, it resonates astonishingly. While the lyrics (or lack thereof) might be open to interpretation, there’s not much wiggle room when it comes to determining the quality of this track. Cut up, chewed around, spat out vocals are only half of it. The bridge handclaps you all the way to the precipice of a massive bass drop so that you can feel the wind on your face before unceremoniously throwing you into the hip-hop percussion pit below. Flume’s version of ‘HyperParadise’ does what it says on the box: there aren’t many song that you can lose yourself in – and your shit to – faster than this. Whatever the future holds for young Flume, this illustrious addition to the past will not be forgotten soon.
Hermitude – HyperParadise (Flume Remix)