The connect and disconnect of artists around the world will always be fascinating to me. By that, I mean sometimes bands and singers will obtain popularity in one corner of the globe, and be completely ignored in the other. One of the more memorable stories I recall from the last 10 years was hearing how The Strokes became massively popular in England long before they found any sort of success in America, despite being from New York. One of the bigger case-in-points today, Flume is an electronica producer who released his self-titled debut album earlier this year. In the U.S., not a ton of people have heard of him. In his native Australia, the album did so well it beat out One Direction for the top spot on the country’s iTunes chart. The man behind Flume, Harley Streten, is in his early 20s and has already played to 10,000+ person crowds in a few spots around the globe. His single “Sleepless” is a chilled out and chopped up piece of dance music that holds its own against similar R&B flavored electronica producers such as SBTRKT, Disclosure and Flying Lotus. Flume is currently in the middle of a U.S. tour, and makes a stop at the Metro in Chicago this upcoming Wednesday, September 4th. As evidence that certain places around the world don’t entirely understand an artist’s appeal, there are still tickets available for that show despite the relatively small venue size. I suspect that most people have no idea what they could be getting themselves into, otherwise it would have sold out rather quickly. A fair number of electronica artists and producers don’t do much with their stage production, resulting in sets that feature them standing behind a laptop or some turntables and pushing buttons. Well, most modern DJ-types would argue that’s not what they’re REALLY doing, but my point is it tends to be not very pretty to look at. Unless you’re Girl Talk and you’ve got a team of toilet paper canons and are willing to ride on an inflatable raft across the crowd, people are there more to hear your beats than to see how you put them together. But then you have your Daft Punks, your DJ Shadows and your Deadmau5, all of whom clearly care about stage production and keeping things interesting. It can take a simple dance set and turn it into something far greater and more enjoyable. Flume is the sort of artist who invests in production, which is why the creation of The Infinity Prism is a real game-changer for him. The setup is impressive and cool and unique to every show, as Streten can tweak things at his own leisure along with the songs. So if you’re 18+, live in Chicago and aren’t busy one week from today, I strongly recommend you check out the Flume show. Tickets are $18 in advance and are available here. Now then, let’s tackle today’s Pick Your Poison. There’s some great stuff today from Bad Sports, The Bynars, Eureka Birds, Papermoons, Seth Smith, This Frontier Needs Heroes and Tim Hecker. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Angel Haze, Digitalism, Gap Dream, Icona Pop, Sebadoh and Shearwater (covering Xiu Xiu).
Tim Hecker – Virginal II
Angel Haze – Echelon (It’s My Way)
Digitalism – Electric Fist
Gap Dream – Shine Your Love
Icona Pop – My Party (ft. Zebra Katz)
Sebadoh – State of Mine
Shearwater – I Luv the Valley OH!! (Xiu Xiu cover)