Culture, Music, Reviews

Flume impresses with sound design, beats in “Skin Companion EP II”

Flume has had a good start to 2017. The famed Australian electronic producer recently won his first Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic Album with his sophomore album “Skin” and is keeping the momentum alive with a brand-new release, titled “Skin Companion EP II.” The four-track project makes great use of its short runtime, blending together genres while displaying a unique, masterful grasp on sound design.

Banger, slapper, dinger … whatever you want to call a song that threatens to blow out your speakers while simultaneously contorting your face due to the sheer groove is what this EP’s opening track, “Enough” feat. Pusha T, is. Push is in peak form here, delivering one of his hottest verses in recent memory – replete with razor-sharp lyricism and effortless flows – over a beat that is just devastating. Flume has outdone himself right off the bat, veering outside of his primary genre to craft an instrumental that is larger than life and aggressive as hell.

“Weekend” feat. Moses Sumney kicks off with some synth sounds that are instantly recognizable as Flume’s. His distinctive style is all over this track, as he once again beautifully compliments the featured artist – only this time with a much mellower, R&B-flavored vibe that demonstrates an impressive amount of range. This is certainly one of those songs that feels like a journey – infinitely pleasant so you can just close your eyes and drift away.

Moving us quickly into the latter half of the EP, “Depth Charge” stands as the lone featureless track. Without too much change occurring throughout, it feels more like an interlude than anything else and, clocking in at five minutes long, seems to drag a bit. However, there’s no shortage of interesting sounds to aurally observe here.

Finally, we have “Fantastic” feat. Dave of Glass Animals, a shuffling, complex piece of indie-electro that ends things with a quiet bang. The rhythm here is nothing short of infectious, and the vocal performance is understated without verging on boring. Flume takes this last opportunity to show off his sound design skills once again, utilizing an array of full-bodied synthesizers. While not quite as impressive as the EP’s first two tracks, “Fantastic” still manages to bring a strong end to this undoubtedly strong project.

With a name like “Skin Companion EP II,” one might worry that he or she was about to listen to 16 minutes of throwaways and B-sides lacking anything that hadn’t already been said on “Skin” and “Skin Companion EP I.” Yet, that’s far from the case. These four tracks are fresh, punchy and concise, proving that Flume is a force in the industry.

Rating: 4/5 stars

March 1, 2017

Reporters

Jon Vilardi


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