My Artist of the year 2013

Ok, Artist of the year time. The way this is supposed to work is that I choose an artist or band who have come up since the choosing of the last AotY award which went to the saviors of autotune; Polica. In 2013 the award goes to a producer who really blew up over the summer when I was (typically) nowhere near the action. Hailing from Redtown, NSW , his self-titled debut has taken the world by storm (or at least this part of the world). The guy shows no signs of slowing down and frankly, he sometimes makes me wonder what I’m doing with my life. My artist of the year for  2013 is none other than Harley Streten. Better known as Flume.

I took a gamble on the Flume debut at a local record fair after hearing red-hot reviews from my classmates. From the moment I put it on the turntable I could tell it was going to be special. Not just the same old same old electronica that left me jaded and cynical about gambling on new artists. From the first note to the last the album reaks of production talent and summer vibes. The vocals, the slow-release compression, the low-end that isn’t so low you can feel it in your ribs but low enough to tickle your entire cochlea, all of it is brilliant. I’d almost go as far as to say Streten has captured the essence of a Sydney summer and pressed it into a 12″ slab of vinyl, but he’s done more than that. The 4-disc (yes, four) special edition is out now to buy and it consists of a second CD of his exemplary euphoric remixes (see video at the end of the post for an example) as well as a live DVD and a disc containing stems of his own tracks for budding producers to remix. He’s even managed to get Ableton on board to include copies of Live LE for those who don’t have a DAW of their own.

The kicker in all this? Flume is 22. He’s effectively just out of high school and he’s already got a dizzyingly-great debut album under his belt! No wonder I question what I’m doing with myself sometimes when talent this precocious comes along! So go ahead and pick up this album for summer, assuming you haven’t already. If you have a friend or a relative who wants to learn how to make music like this, splash out the $30 on the 4-disc set and gift it to them for Christmas. You know what they say, teach a man to fish…

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