The Australian DJ and producer, real name Harley Edward Streten, told NME in an In Conversation video interview that Albarn is one of his musical heroes, so he found the experience of working with him on the album’s title track particularly nerve-wracking.
“We were both playing the LA festival Life Is Beautiful and linked up afterwards, and went to some weird studio in the middle of nowhere in the desert,” Streten told NME about the Albarn collaboration, recalling that he played him a bunch of music.
“I was nervous because I’m a huge fan,” he added, having showed Albarn lots of ideas, “but he didn’t like anything.”
In fact, it was only the second to last track on ‘Palaces’ that piqued Albarn’s interest. “He was like ‘Alright, there’s something in this, this is cool’.”
“After he came round to one of the songs, I did think ‘Thank fuck for that!” And having Albarn join him on-stage at Coachella to play piano during the debut live performance of their collaboration was a “really special moment”.
Flume also spoke about SOPHIE, whom he worked with on his 2019 mixtape ‘Hi This is Flume’. The late pop innovator showed him how to make many of the sounds that would go on to feature on his new record.
“SOPHIE would rock up with this tiny little box, the monomachine by Elektron, and just start making the most insane sounds. Time and again, I’d be like ‘How?!’ and she’d reply saying ‘Oh, it’s simple!’ and pull up a synth on my computer and recreate the sound on software.”
Streten also said that he believes that SOPHIE is the artist responsible for the explosion of hyperpop. “It’s sad that she’s no longer with us. I feel like SOPHIE was one of the founding artists,” he said. “She kind of started the whole thing, and her influence is definitely on my record – for a lot of the songs.”