It’s a little trite to think that a solid breakfast could not only spawn a good day but an entire career. Sure, the morning meal may be the most important of the day, but rarely does one find inspiration (unless you’re Edie Brickell) or a prize worth saving.
But for Australian producer and DJ Harley Streten, a box of Nutri-Grain not only gifted him with a balanced breakfast but beat-making software that helped spawn his current electronic outfit Flume. Once Streten found a free copy of Andrew J’s music maker in the aforementioned cereal box, he was hooked. Despite all the distractions for one growing up in the digital age, (keep in mind that Streten turns 22 in November) crafting soundscapes soon took over as his main focus.
“I’ve been writing music for quite some time and it really became my main pastime. I actually stopped playing video games to write music,” Streten tells the Appeal.
Streten’s early, focused efforts paid off at a dizzying pace. Indie label Future Classic signed Flume after he won the Bang Gang 12 Inches Remix Competition with what would become his debut EP, Sleepless. Just one year later, Streten celebrated his 21st birthday with the release of his self-titled debut LP. Flume is as advertised: crystal-clear, handcrafted beats slice through an infinite plane of rich synth tones and drumming.
It only makes sense that, for such expansive tracks, infinity factors into his production. Flume’s first headlining tour is aptly titled the Infinity Prism, based off a set design that pairs LEDs and mirrors with the artist’s tracks.
“It’s cued to play at the same time as my music. They set up visuals for each one of my songs and really made the prism interactive. It’s really cool for me because it’s just me up there but I can touch certain panels and they’ll light up. It’s fun from my point of view because I feel like I have all the power. The screens light up and the whole prism can strobe. The visual definitely helps take it to the next level.”
The amped-up visuals will be on full display when Flume takes the stage this Saturday at Mezzanine. Expect a few more tricks up Streten’s sleeve as he continues to hone his aesthetics with Flume while looking towards the future. Though he may be flying high in the EDM world for now, Streten takes a practical approach for what’s next.
“I’m not letting myself get too far ahead. I’ve got so many projects I want to do: I want to ghostwrite, or score films but I’ve got to keep the ball rolling with Flume. I feel like after three albums, I can step back and try new things,” Streten says. “I’m not even sure what I’m going to be doing for my second album.”
As with any young musician or fledgling outfit, Streten’s got nothing but time and a whole world to attempt to conquer. His sights are set on North America with a small crew of four and a surprisingly roomy bus to transport them.
Even in transit, there’s a shrewdness to Streten and his team. “We’re on a 12 bed bus. We wanted to get a smaller bus, actually,” Strenten explains, “but the eight bed bus was the same price so we figured, ‘why not?’”