Album Review: “Hi This is Flume” shows Flume experimenting like he never has before
The opening track for Flume’s new album starts with a whirlwind of his voice saying the same phrase over and over again: “Hi, this is Flume.” This 30-second head-spinner serves as a perfect introduction for the Australian producer’s third commercial record.
From start to finish, the tracks on “Hi This Is Flume” flow together seamlessly, with each track sounding like a continuation of the last. Unlike his last record, “Skin,” his latest album relies heavily on experimental production and new electronic sounds. Spanning 38 minutes with 17 songs, the new mixtape is an unrelenting barrage of electronic music from start to finish.
Tracks like “Ecdysis” showcase the trust Flume has in his own ability. He takes chances with the production, letting the brash synthesizers wave in and out of the song. The pockets left by the departure of the harsh electronics are filled by pleasant riffs and ideas conducted beautifully.
The features on this mixtape don’t disappoint either. Rappers JPEGMAFIA and HWLS have great presence on the songs they contribute to. The track “How to Build A Relationship” features Baltimore rapper JPEGMAFIA, with the rapper and producer each leaving their mark on the listener. The track is one of the best on the tape, and one of the best Flume has made in a while.
After a few introductory tracks, Flume gets into the new concepts he teases the listener with in the front part of the album. Songs like “Wormhole” or “71m3” show Flume taking chances like he never has before. He continually takes the listener on a roller-coaster ride, with high- and low-energy segments flowing together like water.
Flume takes a lot of risks on “Hi This Is Flume,” and not all of them pay off. There are moments when the synthesizers, bass and drums mellow out to give the listener a break of sorts, and Flume doesn’t fill those gaps with an attention-grabbing melody as he does in other places on this mixtape.
This is especially true on “Upgrade,” which has a quick electronic melody scattered through the track, but ultimately builds to nothing, and is a big letdown. There are moments like this elsewhere on “Hi This is Flume,” but otherwise, the Australian producer enamors the listener unlike any of his contemporaries.