Flume scores points for the EDM side at ACL Fest

Austin, TX -Flume performs during day 1 of ACL Music Festival on August 30, 2016. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman

Austin, TX -Flume performs during day 1 of ACL Music Festival on August 30, 2016. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman

By Ramon Ramirez, special to the American-Statesman

Australian electronic prouder Flume emerged on the HomeAway stage Friday evening behind a towering black curtain, blue lights, white garb, and a trend-bucking Dell laptop. He also used a heavy-duty mouse — with a red roller ball — which laid next to his business-hours-worthy monitor, drum pad and a keyboard.

Some EDM DJs make it appear fluid and effortless, but Flume’s message was clear: Just because I’m not up here strumming power chords doesn’t mean you can hang with the technique.

The 24-year-old artist born Harley Edward Streten continued a culture war brewing for the past four ACL Fests, one that’s slowly turned the gospel tent into a neon dance party at a festival once known for baby boomer legends, roots rock and bohos like Ben Harper.

Austin, TX -Massive crowd for Flume as he performs during day 1 of ACL Music Festival on Sept. 30, 2016. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman

Austin, TX -Massive crowd for Flume as he performs during day 1 of ACL Music Festival on Sept. 30, 2016. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman

But whereas sets like 2015’s Grizz blowout swept up onlookers in the gooey joy like the honey that sticks out of its plastic container, here sun-bathing couples quarreled as bros in shades waved their palms in place.

Flume broke into the biz crafting a whole record via a laptop he owned in 2012; the kid can dial up the pressure with angelic tones and hypnotic pulse. He’ll flip a Lorde single into a midtempo banger, then dispense giant downtempo tracks from this year’s massive “Skin” record — an experimental and bold undertaking that features guest vocals from Beck.

“Hey Austin, come with me on this one,” Flume shouted.

In the back, a dad in a fishing shirt bounced his daughter on his shoulders during the mothership dips and bass-heavy landings. Here’s your future.


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