An EDM whiz finds the "human element"
Electronic music has been good to Harley Streten, a.k.a. Flume. His blend of stuttering beats, trance-y synth swoops and woozy ambient effects has scored him Top 20 hits in his native Australia and featured spots at Coachella and Lollapalooza. But as the 24-year-old approached his second album, Skin, he wanted more. "A lot of electronic music out there feels cold," he says. "I want to incorporate a human element."
Streten started making tracks at 13, using software that came on a disc in a cereal box. His first album, released in 2012, had offbeat rhythmic and melodic touches. For Skin, he wrote "actual songs," he says. "Really heavy festival moments, really beautiful songs with vocals and also some ambient stuff."
Tracks with Vince Staples and Raekwon "re-create the energy of EDM but with a hip-hop feel," and his collaborations with Tove Lo and Kai are stuffed with earworm hooks, the result of writing sessions that saw him boiling down multiple songs into one. "I like pop music," he says. "And I like really weird, strange stuff. It just didn't feel like there was anyone doing both." J.L.