As expected, Harley Streten took EDM and Dubstep giants to task last Saturday night in Boulder. In front of a sold out Fox Theatre, he drove his project Flume over an almost religiously ecstatic audience, washing them in light, deep bass and high bliss for over 90 minutes. Streten – a youngster in age (still just 21 – Streten’s only been able to order drinks at the clubs he’s been touring in the US for almost a year) and career – could be the next big thing for the never-sated i-generation. Where Dubstep gods like Skrillex were mopping up venues of all sizes and claiming most of the EDM airplay with intimidating, blast-beat, screeching, distorted wub and massively dropped bass, Flume has proven that the sound needs to be toned down a bit.
Spinning most of the tunes from his debut eponymous album, Steten filled a small, unassuming stage presence with enough easy charisma to make the entire floor swoon, only to be brought back to consciousness with perfectly dovetailed electric catharsis, and soft, warm, still heavy but more inviting drum and bass.
Popular tunes like “On Top (featuring T.shirt),” “Holdin’ On,” and “Insane (featuring Moon Holiday)” got as bombastic as the Streten would allow – but always kept that smooth groove as their base. “Sleepless (featuring Jezzabell Doran)” and “Left Alone (featuring Chet Faker)” swathed a drenched crowd like spirituals, and “More Than You Thought” pounded that crowd into grins. The light show – while not as huge as other shows on the tour – added an edge to push the Fox towards – but not into – communal seizure (though I feel the seizure would have been welcomed by these fans).
Enjoy the slideshow below – taken entirely on my iPhone (which explains some – but not all – of the lo-fi nature of the shots. The rest of the blame goes to my lack of real skills and a true photographer).
And – while we’re not really fans of either the Grammy Awards or predictions – it wouldn’t be surprising to see Flume mopping up some of that attention next January (but if Streten gets one, we’ll be happy to take the “heard it here first” credit).