The electronic juggernaut that is Harley Streten finally made its way back to Melbourne, this time with a setlist spanning two LPs and enough A-class remixes to sink a ship.
Opening with ‘Helix’, the minimalist beats combined with tribal acoustics and an airy pan flute that were almost tangible in the summer night sky. When combined with heavy smoke machines and a pulsating 8-bit lead the result was nothing short of electric. A feature on the latest album Skin, ‘Helix’ is somewhat heavier and further towards minimalist house than some of Flume’s other works. Moving into more mainstream material such as ‘Holdin’ On’, ‘Sleepless’ and ‘On Top’ gives the crowd a chance to get their lungs warmed up. Many punters are now screaming and clambering over the seats, each other and anybody in their way to get a better look at Harley Streten working his magic.
A positive addition that made Flume’s World Tour a more engaging experience was the inclusion of live vocals from Kucká and Vince Staples. Both artist’s feature heavily on Flume’s latest release Skin, so rather than using vocal samples, the logical conclusion was to bring both artists onstage at the stages in which they feature on the tracks which worked really smoothly.
What truly set Flume’s World Tour apart with the visuals that accompanied his bangin’ tunes. His extensive array of mixes, synths and drum machines were atop a clear glass desk that featured LED lighting arranged in successive cubes in front of, behind and above Flume’s workstation. Every performance of the evening had a different combination of lighting on such cubes, which were perfectly in time with the live audio. A gigantic LCD screen was also placed behind Streten, which featured 3D visuals very similar to that of the artwork by Jonathan Zawada associated with Skin.
Featuring a healthy amount of popular Flume remix tracks such as ‘You and Me’ (Disclosure), ‘Tennis Court’ (Lorde), and ‘My Boo’ (Ghost Town DJ’s), the setlist was varied and extensive. Sidney Myer Music Bowl is an interesting choice for an electronic act and with the stalls being in front of the general admission it surprisingly worked. Not a single person was sitting in the stalls, with the expectation of a guy front left to myself who was looking a little worse for wear.
Personal (and clearly crowd) favourites, Hermitude rework ‘HyperParadise’, ‘Say it’ and ‘You and Me’ got the expected roar, but newer material ‘Wall Fuck’ and ‘Smoke and Retribution’ were top of the pack on the night. The setlist truly showcased the versatility and progression of Flume as an artist. Earlier works are such a contrast to newer releases, with Skin featuring an array of alt-pop, tribal melodies and the elastic synths. When combined with the encompassing live elements, the true mastery of Flume was seen by all present on a sunny Friday evening which led to an enchanting journey through a very creative mind.