Flume’s laid-back beats to hit Minneapolis

Aussie electronic dance guru Harley Streten is caught in a vortex of success and touring.

Flume

Daniel Shipp

Flume

Spencer Doar

It’s easy to write off modern day cereal giveaways — there’s always some extra hoop to jump through before getting the loot.  Gone are the days of instant pleasure from hermetically sealed packages coated in sugar dust. 

But for electro-dance producer Harley Streten, who goes by Flume, cereal was essential in his genesis as an artist.  In his early teens, a Nutri-Grain box bequeathed him a free sample of, well, sampling software. 

In the ensuing years, the now 21-year-old Streten expanded his producing chops on equipment that’s more Kellogg’s HQ than the cheap stuff on the shelves by working newspaper routes, janitorial gigs and one nightmare stint as a server at Hard Rock Café under a manager of sub-par abilities.    

Now, Streten’s on a whirlwind 15-gigs-in-three-weeks tour of the States, a follow-up to a busy European tour. 

“I’m used to being in my room writing,” he said. “Now I’m put in front of so many people.” 

It’s only going to get busier for Streten, as he just agreed to tour in support of English electronic duo Disclosure. (It’ll be interesting to see how long youthful exuberance can keep this kind of schedule afloat.)

But beyond the international travel, not much has changed for Streten. He still has the same friends and lives in the same beach community north of Sydney that he grew up in.  An avid surfer since the age of 8, Streten is reluctant to leave the waves of his youth. 

Water sports aside, the seeming calm that comes over Streten when he discusses his home is indicative of its importance both for mental health, and, less overtly, his musical efforts. 

Mostly absent is the whomp-whomp of dubstep and the unh-tsk unh-tsk common on the European club music scene. 

Rather, Streten leans to the more ethereal and tranquil aspects of electronic dance music — as oxymoronic as that may seem. 

His single, “Sleepless,” embodies all that makes Flume compelling:  a featured artist to add splashes of color and synths chopped and screwed on a sonic scale that won’t be found in Texas hip-hop. 

Much like “Left Alone” and “Bring You Down” off of his self-titled 2012 debut, “Sleepless” induces the type of swaying that gives away concertgoers who’ve had a couple. 

The single “Holdin On,” with its echoed hook and soaring bass, vies with “Sleepless” as his biggest hit yet.  Regardless of success, every day is a surprise reminder that his life on Australian beaches will never be the same. 

“My first festival was when I realized this was big,” Streten said.  “By the end of the set, six or seven thousand people were there. Coming from pub shit — I’d seen web stats and stuff, but the people…”

After so much touring during such a seminal time in his life, it won’t be surprising if Streten’s next venture is of a different tenor — or in a different realm of entertainment entirely. He envisions two or three more albums and then moving on to greener pastures that could include film and ghostwriting. 

 

What:  Flume
When: Tuesday, 8 p.m.
Where: First Avenue Mainroom, 701 1st Ave., Minneapolis
Cost: $15
Age: 18+