We've gone through and ranked every single Flume remix over the years, from some unreleased gems to some genre-defining classics.
Last week, FLUME released his long-teased remix of Eiffel 65's 'Blue'. While it had all the markings of a classic Flume release, and we can absolutely expect to cranking it at a socially-distant/self-isolated rave soon, it left us feeling a little underwhelmed as well. This isn't to say there was anything necessarily wrong with it, but this is Flume we're talking about. The same man who delivered the remixes of 'Tennis Court', 'Hyperparadise', 'You & Me' and more. So, was it his best? No. Was it close? Also no.
So, this then got us thinking within Purple Sneakers HQ: what IS Flume's best remix? There are so many excellent ones, but what is the best of the best? Is it one of his most famous, or is it an early gem that many fans might not even know exists? Given we've been covering the man since 2012 and even booked him for a few of his very first shows, we decided to do the hard yards and rank his remixes to find out the answer once and for all...
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There's nothing really wrong with this remix as such, and I do know of some people who will defend this remix to the death. But, given just how great some of his remixes really are, this one gets the wooden spoon. Released in 2014, it came after the iconic remix of Lorde's 'Tennis Court', so expectations where high but even with a 10-minute running time, we are left just wanting more. I can't really blame him, 'Afterlife' comes from one of Arcade Fire's most divisive records and is personally not a highlight from that album, so perhaps there wasn't all that much to work with? But, context or no context, it still just doesn't quite get there.
This Junior Boys remix was actually an entry from a very young Harley Streten for a competition held by Ableton and Soundcloud. Producers were asked to create a song out of free sounds from the likes of M83, Nosaj Thing and Junior Boys within just 24 hours. The end result here is a nice rework that also serves as an indication that Flume was already finding some seriously solid footing all those years ago. So, given the circumstances, it's pretty good.
Similar to the Arcade Fire remix, there's nothing necessarily wrong with this remix. It's nice. It's also eight years old, so is very, very, VERY early work from the pioneering producer. Two of Australia's legendary dance acts together on a song should be enough to send us over the edge, but instead we're left looking for something else.
Look, I'll say it. This Eiffel 65 remix, albeit hilarious, is not Flume's best work. The end result of an Instagram post we all thought was a troll, Flume's recently released 'Blue' remix just feels like its custom made for EDM bros a few pingers deep wearing speed dealers. It's big alright, and sounds very "Flume" indeed with its synth jabs and blown out drops. But, is it his BEST? Not even close.
"Flume's Jackin House Mix" of Marlena Shaw's 'Woman of the Ghetto' was released on a compilation that saw the producer joined by some very good company indeed including TOKiMONSTA, Maya Jane Coles, ZEDS DEAD and more. This one came after his legendary Disclosure remix, so may have been missed by a few fans who were still reeling from that release, but it is indeed a slept on heater from the man himself as he channels some old school house energy.
This is a controversial placement but I stand by it. The first of many, many works between this pair, Flume took on one of Chet Faker's early hits in 'Gold'. However, is this the best release from the holy matrimony of Flume and Chet Faker/Nick Murphy? No, it's not. It's a good, not great remix of a game-changing song in its own right and while there are some stand out moments in the song, this is some background music level stuff. Next!
This still bangs. There was a period in Australian dance music where just about every DJ in every club was playing this, so it certainly would strike a chord with anyone old enough to be in a club eight years ago. This would be a formative release for Flume, as he began to really start to establish himself as a producer. Shout out Brisbane's Oh Hello! nightclub for the many good times to this.
Vintage Flume on a vintage Ta-Ku track. This 'Higher' remix has all the hallmarks of a classic Flume release, while still maintaining the glory of one of Ta-Ku's most loved tracks.
This remix is so EPIC. As the atmospherics steadily build while Gurrumul's vocals echo over the top, this is one of Flume's best remixes in which he creates an entire soundscape. He's at his best when he dismantles the original completely and builds a monolith in its place, and that's exactly what we have here.
Remixing Sam Smith's break out single would be no easy task, but Streten pulls it off with ease on this remix. Keeping those absolutely gorgeous original vocals in tact, he swaps out the remaining elements in favour of mechanical synth loops, whirring bass, and crisp percussive claps before letting rip in the hook. It stands up to the original in that its not so much a remix of 'Lay Me Down' so much as its own entity entirely. So damn good.
We're now reaching god tier Flume remixes, and this one was always going to be high up in this list. This remix was arguably bigger than the original, and the first real introduction into just what Flume might be capable of. What was a very fine indie tune was taken and turned into a down tempo rework, with an undeniable groove. This remix would go onto inspire countless producers who would try their hand at this percussive-driven electronica sound, but few would be able to pull it off in the way Harley does here.
From here on out, we really are splitting hairs. Each of the top five are just SO good, and so different in their own ways as well. This Disclosure remix holds its own when compared to the original, which is saying something given it is indeed one of the Lawrence brothers' best singles as well. Where the New Navy remix channels an almost-laidback vibe, this Disclosure remix bangs in all the right ways. 2013 was such a time for so many millennials, and this remix would've absolutely been part of the soundtrack to that period. God-tier Flume.
Fact: Collarbones are one of the most underrated acts to exist maybe ever. Their song, 'Turning', is one of my most played tracks in my music library, as is many others as well. So to say my expectations were high when I saw this remix released goes without saying, and I can confidently say Flume exceeded these. I remember where I was when this dropped, and I think I listened at least five times in a row. The way he loops Marcus Whale's exceptional voice over and over before kicking into the now-ominous hook before letting rip gets me every single time. It's one of his more "experimental" remixes, but its all the better for it.
Another impossibly underrated band in their own right, Flume did not disappoint with this remix of labelmates Seekae and their single, 'Test & Recognise'. At the time, this Seekae record was everywhere and was integral in the development of the sounds coming out of Australian dance music, but Flume kicked it up a notch when he lent his hand to 'Test & Recognise'. Proving he was able to sit just as well in the more alternative sides of dance and electronic music with this remix, Flume began to establish himself as an artist who could hit just as hard with an EDM crowd as he could with the hipsters, chinstrokers and alternative fans thanks to this tense, sprawling epic.
Do not come for me. I stand by this. Yes, the 'Tennis Court' remix is an exceptional release from the man himself. Yes, it might even be one of his best, remix or otherwise. And yes, it was splitting hairs between so many of these. But I stand by it nonetheless. This remix of Lorde's 'Tennis Court' is iconic for all the right reasons. It's got Flume's classic synth jabs, threatening bass lines, some almighty drops and that iconic horse neigh. What's not to love?!
There was no way this couldn't be number one. The one that put Flume on the map. This remix is everything. It's the release that cemented Flume in the highest echelon of producer and artist in this country, and the one that really started it all. It was tough to decide between this 'Hyperparadise' remix and the 'Tennis Court' remix, but the sheer impact of this one made it a no-brainer in the end. This remix has defined not only a genre (and many sub-genres as well) but also the generation who grew up listening to this on triple J and through the time when dance music became one of the biggest genres in the world. It was a tough call, but we're backing this one as the definitive, and best, Flume remix.
Words by Emma Jones