What music genre is Flume?

Dive into the mesmerizing sonic realm of Flume, where musical boundaries are not just pushed but obliterated. Hailing from Australia, Flume, the enigmatic electronic music producer, has carved out a unique space, but what music genre is Flume?

Flume’s music is a captivating blend of various styles. While primarily considered a pioneer of future bass, his productions encompass elements from trap, hip-hop, ambient, and even experimental genres like hyperpop.

Moreover, this unique fusion creates a sound that is both familiar and fresh, drawing listeners in with its vibrant energy and unexpected twists. Flume’s innovative approach to music production transcends genre boundaries, resulting in a sonic landscape that is both exciting and endlessly captivating.

What is the primary music genre associated with Flume?

What music genre is Flume?

Flume is primarily associated with the electronic music genre future bass, a subgenre of electronic dance music (EDM) characterized by its smooth basslines, atmospheric soundscapes, and melodic vocals. However, Flume’s music also incorporates elements from other genres, including:

  • Chillwave: characterized by its dreamy, retro-inspired sounds.
  • Glitch hop: characterized by its off-kilter rhythms and unexpected sonic textures.
  • Indie pop: characterized by its catchy melodies and introspective lyrics.

Therefore, while future bass is the most accurate description of Flume’s primary genre, it’s important to note his diverse musical influences and willingness to experiment beyond genre boundaries.

How would you describe Flume’s overall musical style?

Flume’s overall musical style can be described as cinematic, atmospheric, and emotionally evocative. He has a unique ability to create layered soundscapes that draw the listener in and take them on a journey. His music is often characterized by the following elements:

Melodic: Flume’s music is full of catchy melodies and hooks that stay with you long after the song is over. He often uses vocal samples and synth melodies to create a sense of emotion and nostalgia.

Bass-driven: While not as aggressive as some other electronic music genres, Flume’s music still has a strong emphasis on bass. He uses sub-bass and mid-range bass to create a driving force and a sense of groove.

Textural: Flume’s music is full of interesting textures and sounds. He uses a variety of instruments and sound effects to create a unique sonic landscape.

Emotional: Flume’s music is often described as being very emotional. He uses his music to explore themes of love, loss, and longing.

Experimental: Flume is not afraid to experiment with different sounds and techniques. He is always pushing the boundaries of what is possible with electronic music.

Genre-bending: While Flume is primarily associated with the future bass genre, his music also incorporates elements of other genres such as chillwave, glitch hop, and indie pop. This makes his music unique and appealing to a wide range of listeners.

What are some specific subgenres of electronic music that Flume’s work encompasses?

Flume’s work encompasses several subgenres of electronic music, including:

Future Bass: As mentioned previously, this is Flume’s primary genre and is characterized by its smooth basslines, atmospheric soundscapes, and melodic vocals. Examples of future bass tracks by Flume include “Never Be Like You” and “Skin.”

Glitch Hop: This subgenre is characterized by its off-kilter rhythms and unexpected sonic textures. While not the most prominent in Flume’s work, some of his tracks, like “Hyperreal” and “Left Alone,” showcase elements of glitch hop.

Chillwave: This subgenre is characterized by its dreamy, retro-inspired sounds. Flume’s tracks like “Sleepless” and “Smoke & Retribution” demonstrate his affinity for chillwave elements.

Indie Pop: Flume’s music often incorporates catchy melodies and introspective lyrics, drawing inspiration from indie pop. This can be heard in tracks like “Say It” and “Some Minds.”

Downtempo: While not as prevalent, Flume occasionally ventures into downtempo territory, with tracks like “Insane” and “Tiny Cities” showcasing slower tempos and more relaxed vibes.

Experimental Electronic: Flume is known for pushing boundaries and experimenting with different sounds, venturing beyond established subgenres. This can be seen in tracks like “Drop the Game” and “Quirk,” which defy easy categorization.

What are some of the distinctive characteristics of Flume’s approach to music production?

Flume’s approach to music production is distinguished by several unique characteristics, setting him apart from many other electronic music producers:

Sound Design:

  • Organic and natural textures: Flume frequently uses field recordings of natural sounds, like running water, birds chirping, and crackling fires, to add life and realism to his music.
  • Granular synthesis and manipulation: He expertly utilizes granular synthesis to manipulate and sculpt sounds, creating new and unexpected textures.
  • Foley artistry: Flume employs foley sound design techniques, incorporating everyday sounds into his music for a unique sonic signature.

Composition and Arrangement:

  • Layered arrangements: Flume’s tracks are often meticulously layered, with numerous instrumental and vocal parts intricately woven together.
  • Contrasting dynamics: He masterfully utilizes contrasting dynamics, creating moments of both intense energy and introspective calm within his tracks.
  • Emphasis on melody and hooks: While his music is complex and layered, Flume never loses sight of creating catchy melodies and hooks that stay with the listener.
  • Genre-bending and experimentation: Flume is unafraid to experiment with different sounds and genres, seamlessly blending elements of various styles into his own unique aesthetic.

Production Techniques:

  • Attention to detail: Flume is known for his meticulous approach to production, meticulously crafting each sonic element to perfection.
  • Creative use of effects and processing: He uses a wide range of effects and processing techniques to manipulate sounds in innovative ways, creating his signature sound.
  • Focus on automation and movement: Flume’s tracks are often characterized by constant movement and evolution, achieved through clever automation of various parameters.
  • Emphasis on the sonic journey: He views his tracks as sonic journeys, taking the listener on an emotional and musical adventure.

How did the flume genre evolve over the years?

Flume’s music has undergone a notable evolution over the course of his career, showcasing his artistic growth and exploration. Here’s a breakdown of this evolution:

Early Career (2011-2013):

  • Focus on Future Bass: Flume’s early work was heavily rooted in the future bass genre, characterized by smooth basslines, atmospheric soundscapes, and melodic vocals. Tracks like “Sleepless,” “Holdin On,” and “Left Alone” exemplify this sound.
  • Simple Arrangements: Compared to his later works, early Flume tracks were generally less layered and relied on simpler arrangements.
  • Emphasis on Glitch Hop: While future bass dominated, Flume also incorporated elements of glitch hop, evident in tracks like “Hyperreal” and “On Top.”

Mid-Career (2014-2016):

  • Exploration of Genre-Bending: Flume began venturing beyond future bass, incorporating elements of other genres like chillwave (“Smoke & Retribution”) and indie pop (“Say It”).
  • Increased Experimentation: This period saw Flume experiment more with sound design and production techniques, creating tracks like “Drop the Game” and “Quirk” that defied easy categorization.
  • Complex Arrangements: Tracks like “Never Be Like You” and “Skin” showcased Flume’s growing mastery of layering and arrangement, resulting in richer and more dynamic soundscapes.

Later Career (2017-Present):

  • Focus on Vocals and Emotionality: Flume’s later releases have placed a greater emphasis on vocal features and emotionally evocative songwriting. Tracks like “Some Minds,” “The Difference,” and “Sirens” showcase this shift.
  • Downtempo Exploration: While still energetic, some recent releases like “Insane” and “Tiny Cities” venture into downtempo territory, offering a more relaxed and introspective side to Flume’s music.
  • Refined Production and Sound Design: Flume’s production skills have continued to mature, resulting in even more polished and meticulously crafted soundscapes.

Overall, Flume’s evolution reflects his constant artistic growth and willingness to experiment beyond established boundaries.

What are some of Flume’s most notable musical influences?

What music genre is Flume?

Flume’s music draws inspiration from a diverse range of musical influences, including:

Electronic Music:

  • Flying Lotus: This influential producer’s impact is evident in Flume’s atmospheric soundscapes and use of organic textures.
  • J Dilla: Flume has credited J Dilla’s hip-hop production and knack for sampling as significant influences on his own approach to sound design and arrangement.
  • Tokimonsta: Another influential electronic producer whose use of melodic samples and atmospheric textures resonates with Flume’s work.
  • Burial: The dark and atmospheric textures of Burial’s music are evident in Flume’s tracks like “On Top.”
  • Disclosure: The UK duo’s influence is particularly noticeable in Flume’s early work, with tracks like “Holdin On” sharing their melodic and pop-infused sensibilities.

Other Genres:

  • Bon Iver: The indie folk band’s influence can be heard in Flume’s use of ethereal vocals and introspective songwriting.
  • James Blake: Flume has cited Blake’s innovative use of electronic music and R&B influences as an inspiration.
  • Animal Collective: This experimental pop band’s influence is evident in Flume’s willingness to push boundaries and experiment with genre-bending sounds.
  • Radiohead: The British rock band’s influence can be heard in Flume’s use of textured soundscapes and emotional songwriting.
  • Daft Punk: This iconic electronic duo’s influence is seen in Flume’s utilization of catchy melodies and infectious grooves.

Also, he skillfully absorbs and reinterprets their sounds and approaches into his own unique musical vision. This ability to draw inspiration from diverse sources and forge his own path has been instrumental in Flume’s success and evolution as a musician.

How has Flume’s music been received by critics and audiences?

Flume’s music has been generally well-received by critics and audiences alike. He has garnered widespread acclaim for his innovative sound design, intricate compositions, and ability to blend various genres. Here’s a breakdown of the reception:


  • Positive Reviews: Flume’s albums have consistently received positive reviews from critics, often praising his unique sound, creative approach, and ability to push boundaries. For example, his debut album “Flume” received a 9/10 from Pitchfork, while “Skin” was lauded by Rolling Stone as “a masterpiece of electronic music.”
  • Recognition for Innovation: Critics have consistently recognized Flume’s innovative approach to sound design and production. His ability to create new and unexpected textures has been a constant source of praise.
  • Appreciation of Compositional Skills: Flume’s ability to craft complex and layered arrangements has also been commended by critics. They often highlight his masterful use of dynamics and contrasting elements to create compelling sonic journeys.
  • Some Criticism: While generally positive, there have been some criticisms of Flume’s music. Some have argued that his focus on sound design can overshadow the emotional impact of his music. Others have criticized his occasional genre-bending as lacking cohesion.


  • Commercial Success: Flume’s music has also resonated with audiences, achieving commercial success. His albums have topped the charts in Australia and charted well internationally. He has also sold out large-scale tours worldwide.
  • Dedicated Fan Base: Flume has a dedicated fan base who appreciate his innovative sound and artistic vision. His fans are known for their passion and enthusiasm for his music.
  • Positive Fan Reviews: Many fans have praised Flume’s music for its emotional impact, ability to inspire creativity, and unique sonic landscapes.

Ultimately, Flume has earned a reputation as a leading and innovative figure in electronic music. His music has been praised by critics and audiences alike for its originality, artistry, and emotional depth.

While there have been some minor criticisms, Flume’s overall impact on the electronic music scene and his ability to connect with listeners have been undeniable.

What impact has Flume had on the development of electronic music?

Flume, the Australian electronic music producer and DJ, has undeniably left a significant mark on the genre’s development. His impact can be felt across several areas:

Pioneering Future Bass:

Flume is widely credited as a pioneer of the future bass genre, characterized by its melodic approach, intricate sound design, and incorporation of organic elements like vocals, guitars, and field recordings. His debut album, “Flume,” and subsequent releases like “Skin” and “Hi This Is Flume” established the genre’s sonic identity and paved the way for countless artists to explore its creative potential.

Pushing Boundaries of Sound Design:

Flume’s meticulous attention to detail and innovative approach to sound design are hallmarks of his work.

He frequently utilizes unconventional samples, layered textures, and intricate processing techniques to craft unique and immersive soundscapes. This innovative approach has inspired countless producers to explore the boundaries of sound design and push the sonic possibilities of electronic music.

Expanding the Genre’s Reach:

Flume’s success has broken down barriers and expanded the reach of electronic music across mainstream audiences. His music has been featured in films, television, and video games, introducing new listeners to the genre and fostering a broader appreciation for its artistic merit. This wider exposure has helped elevate electronic music’s status within the broader musical landscape.

Collaboration and Cross-Genre Influence:

Flume’s collaborative spirit has seen him work with diverse artists across genres, ranging from indie pop singers like Vera Blue to hip-hop legends like Vince Staples. This cross-pollination of ideas has led to exciting musical hybrids and pushed the boundaries of genre definition within electronic music.

Inspiring a Generation of Producers:

Flume’s influence on electronic music extends beyond his own productions. He has become a role model and inspiration for a generation of aspiring producers, encouraging experimentation, innovation, and a meticulous approach to sound design.

His online tutorials and masterclasses have further contributed to the democratization of music production and empowered aspiring artists to pursue their creative endeavors.

What are some of Flume’s most popular and critically acclaimed songs?

Flume boasts a diverse and acclaimed body of work, making it challenging to definitively identify his most popular and critically acclaimed songs. However, based on streaming numbers, critical reception, and fan sentiment, some of the most notable contenders include:

Most Popular:

  • Never Be Like You (feat. Kai): This 2016 hit from his album “Skin” remains Flume’s most commercially successful track, topping charts in Australia and achieving international recognition. Its blend of future bass and pop sensibilities, combined with Kai’s evocative vocals, contributed to its widespread appeal.
  • Holdin On: This early 2012 release is considered a cornerstone of the future bass genre and propelled Flume into the spotlight. Its atmospheric soundscapes, catchy melody, and innovative sound design cemented its popularity within the electronic music scene.
  • Sleepless: Flume’s debut single in 2011, “Sleepless,” is credited with launching his career and showcasing his signature sound. Its hypnotic melodies, intricate arrangements, and organic textures resonated with listeners, establishing Flume as a rising talent.
  • Smoke & Retribution: This 2016 track from “Skin” is beloved for its introspective mood and chillwave influences. The combination of Flume’s atmospheric production and Vince Staples’ introspective lyrics created a unique and emotionally resonant piece.
  • Say It: This 2016 single features Tove Lo’s vocals and blends future bass with pop elements, making it another commercially successful track. Its catchy melody and sentimental lyrics resonated with a wide audience, further solidifying Flume’s crossover appeal.

Critically Acclaimed:

  • Hyperreal (feat. Kučka): This 2019 track garnered critical acclaim for its innovative sound design, blending elements of future bass and glitch hop with Kučka’s ethereal vocals. Critics praised its sonic depth, complex arrangement, and emotional impact.
  • Left Alone (feat. Chet Faker): This 2013 collaboration with Chet Faker is hailed as one of Flume’s most emotionally evocative tracks. The melancholic atmosphere, heartfelt vocals, and stripped-down arrangement resonated deeply with critics and fans alike.
  • The Difference: This 2017 track from “Skin” was praised for its departure from Flume’s signature sound. Its experimental nature, featuring distorted vocals and pulsating beats, showcased Flume’s versatility and willingness to push creative boundaries.
  • Drop the Game: This 2012 track is lauded for its experimental approach, blending elements of trap, glitch hop, and future bass into a unique and energetic soundscape. Critics praised its innovative use of sound design and unconventional structure.
  • Quirk: This 2016 track is another testament to Flume’s experimentalism. Its unconventional rhythm, intricate production, and playful atmosphere made it a standout track on “Skin,” earning critical acclaim for its distinct sound.

Be informed that this is just a small sample of Flume’s prolific catalog. His music continues to evolve and captivate audiences, making it difficult to definitively identify his most popular and critically acclaimed songs. However, the tracks listed above offer a glimpse into his diverse and influential body of work.

In what contexts is Flume’s music typically performed?

Flume’s music is versatile and can be enjoyed in various contexts, including:

Live Performances: Flume is renowned for his live shows, which are known for their innovative visuals, interactive elements, and immersive experience. His live sets often incorporate a diverse range of his music, from energetic future bass bangers to introspective and atmospheric tracks.

Music Festivals: Flume is a frequent headliner at major music festivals around the world, such as Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Glastonbury. His music’s energy and diverse appeal make it a perfect fit for the festival atmosphere, where large crowds gather to enjoy live music.

Clubs and Nightclubs: Flume’s music is often played in clubs and nightclubs, particularly those catering to electronic music fans. DJs often incorporate his tracks into their sets, creating an energetic and danceable atmosphere.

Background Music: Flume’s music can also be enjoyed as background music in various settings, such as cafes, restaurants, and bars. His chillwave and atmospheric tracks create a relaxed and ambient atmosphere, while his more energetic tracks can add a touch of excitement and energy to a space.

Personal Listening: Flume’s music is also enjoyed by many listeners individually through streaming services, digital downloads, and physical media. Whether listening for enjoyment, introspection, or inspiration, Flume’s music offers a unique and engaging experience for individual listeners.

Film and Television: Occasionally, Flume’s music has been featured in film and television soundtracks, further expanding its reach and exposing it to new audiences.

Ultimately, the context in which Flume’s music is enjoyed is diverse and depends on individual preferences and the setting. The versatility of his music allows it to be appreciated in various ways, from large-scale festival events to individual listening experiences.

What are some of the visual elements that are often associated with Flume’s music?

Flume’s music is often associated with specific visual elements that enhance the listening experience and reinforce the themes and emotions within his music. Here are some of the most recurring visuals:

Organic Textures:

Flume’s music frequently incorporates natural sounds and textures, reflected in visuals that feature landscapes, nature imagery, and organic shapes. This connection between sound and visuals creates a sense of immersion and grounding.

Geometric Patterns:

Flume’s music is also known for its intricate arrangements and complex rhythms, often visualized with geometric patterns, abstract shapes, and lines. These visuals complement the music’s sonic complexity and add visual interest.

Fractals and Glitch Art:

Flume’s music often incorporates elements of glitch hop, reflected in visuals featuring distorted imagery, fragmented shapes, and glitch effects. These visuals create a sense of dynamism and chaos, mirroring the music’s energetic and unpredictable nature.

Minimalism and Negative Space:

Contrasting with the intricate patterns, Flume’s visuals sometimes utilize minimalism and negative space, featuring clean lines, simple shapes, and empty canvas. This creates a sense of balance and allows the music to take center stage.

Surreal and Dreamlike Imagery:

Flume’s music can be introspective and emotionally evocative, reflected in visuals featuring surreal landscapes, dreamlike imagery, and symbolic objects. These visuals enhance the music’s emotional impact and invite the listener to interpret their own meaning.

Vivid Colors and Gradients:

Flume’s visuals often utilize vibrant colors and dynamic gradients, mirroring the energy and diversity of his music. These colors can be used to create specific moods and evoke different emotions.

Light and Shadow:

Flume’s music utilizes dynamics and contrasting elements, reflected in visuals that play with light and shadow. This creates a sense of depth and visual tension, mirroring the music’s dynamic shifts.

Motion and Animation:

Many of Flume’s visuals are dynamic and animated, featuring fluid movements, transitions, and transformations. This kinetic energy mirrors the rhythmic nature of his music and adds visual interest to the experience.

Interactivity and Audience Participation:

Flume’s live shows and some music videos incorporate interactive elements that encourage audience participation. This can include light shows, responsive visuals, and audience-generated content, creating a sense of collective experience and connection.

These recurring visual elements enhance the listening experience for Flume’s music, creating a multi-sensory journey that complements and amplifies the emotions and themes within his soundscapes.

What is Flume’s role in contemporary electronic music culture?

Flume plays a significant role in contemporary electronic music culture in several ways:

Pioneering and Popularizing Future Bass:

Flume is widely recognized as a pioneer of the future bass genre, which he helped popularize through his early releases like “Sleepless” and “Holdin On.” This genre has become a major force in electronic music, influencing countless other artists and garnering a large following.

Genre-Bending and Innovation:

Flume’s music defies easy categorization, seamlessly blending elements of future bass, chillwave, glitch hop, indie pop, and other genres. This innovative approach to genre-bending has inspired other artists to experiment and push boundaries, contributing to the diversity and creativity of contemporary electronic music.

Sound Design and Production Expertise:

Flume is renowned for his innovative approach to sound design, creating unique and organic textures using field recordings, granular synthesis, and other techniques. His technical skills and attention to detail have set him apart from many other electronic music producers and influenced countless others to explore new sonic possibilities.

Live Performance Artistry:

Flume’s live shows are a spectacle of music and visuals, utilizing cutting-edge technology and interactive elements to create immersive experiences for audiences. He has raised the bar for live electronic music performances and inspired other artists to elevate their own stage presence.

Crossover Appeal and Commercial Success:

Flume’s music has achieved mainstream success, topping charts and reaching a wide audience beyond the typical electronic music fanbase. This crossover appeal has helped to bridge the gap between electronic music and other genres, making it more accessible to a broader range of listeners.

Influence on a New Generation of Producers:

Flume’s success and innovative approach have inspired a new generation of electronic music producers. His music serves as a source of inspiration and a model for those seeking to create their own unique sound.

Advocate for Sustainability and Environmental Awareness:

Flume has spoken out about the importance of sustainability and environmental awareness, incorporating these themes into his music and live shows. His activism has inspired other artists and fans to consider the environmental impact of the music industry and take action for a more sustainable future.

Overall, Flume’s impact on contemporary electronic music culture is multifaceted and far-reaching. He is a pioneer, innovator, and influential figure who has helped shape the sound and direction of electronic music in the 21st century.

What does the future hold for Flume as a musical artist?

Predicting the future of a creative artist like Flume is difficult, as his artistic vision and approach are constantly evolving. However, based on his trajectory and current trends in the music industry, here are some potential scenarios for Flume’s future:

Continued Innovation and Genre-Bending: Flume has established himself as a pioneer in pushing boundaries and exploring new sonic territories. It’s likely that he will continue to experiment with different sounds and genres, further expanding the definition of electronic music and influencing other artists.

Deeper Focus on Collaboration: Flume has already collaborated with various artists across genres, adding new dimensions to his music. He may delve deeper into this creative avenue, collaborating with unexpected artists and creating even more diverse and surprising sonic experiences.

Greater Emphasis on Live Performance: Flume’s live shows are already renowned for their immersive and innovative nature. He may continue to elevate his live experience, incorporating new technologies, interactive elements, and even exploring different formats like live albums or virtual reality concerts.

Increased Focus on Visuals and Storytelling: The connection between Flume’s music and visuals is already strong, but it might become even more pronounced in the future. He may develop more intricate visual narratives for his music, incorporating animation, film, and other visual media to create deeper emotional connections with his audience.

Continued Crossover Appeal: Flume’s music has already crossed over to mainstream audiences, and this trend may continue. He may collaborate with more mainstream artists or explore pop-infused sounds, further expanding his reach and influencing the broader music scene.

Exploration of Emerging Technologies: With the rise of new technologies like AI and virtual reality, Flume may experiment with incorporating these elements into his music and performances. This could lead to new and innovative ways of creating and experiencing music.

Focus on Environmental Activism: Flume has already spoken out about environmental issues, and he may use his platform to raise awareness and inspire action. He could incorporate environmental themes into his music, partner with environmental organizations, or even create immersive experiences that highlight the beauty and fragility of the natural world.

Legacy as a Creative Force: Regardless of the specific path he takes, Flume is likely to continue to be a leading force in electronic music. His innovative approach, creative vision, and influence on other artists will leave a lasting legacy on the future of electronic music and inspire generations to come.

Ultimately, Flume’s future is open-ended and full of exciting possibilities. He is an artist who thrives on creative exploration and pushing boundaries, so it is impossible to predict exactly what he will do next.


What music genre is Flume? Flume’s music is best described as a fusion of numerous electronic music genres, primarily future bass, but also incorporating elements of chillwave, glitch hop, indie pop, trap, and experimental electronic music.

He is known for his innovative sound design, intricate arrangements, and willingness to experiment beyond genre boundaries. His music is often described as cinematic, atmospheric, and emotionally evocative, and he has a knack for creating catchy melodies and hooks that stay with the listener long after the song is over. Flume is a pioneer and leading figure in electronic music, and his impact on the genre is undeniable.