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EP Review: Flume & Chet Faker – Lock Jaw

The news that producer-du-jour, Flume, and alternative singer-songwriter Chet Faker were to release an EP together was not a surprise. After working together on Flume’s ‘Left Alone’, and touring for some of 2013, the two headed into the studio together for what has been described as a “four-day writing binge”.

The three-track EP really is a collaborative affair. Whereas their previous collaboration had been mainly 21-year-old Flume, Lock Jaw is a unifying experiment that has paid off. First track and lead single ‘Drop the Game’ wonderfully incorporates Faker’s luscious vocal prowess, while allowing Flume to generate his distinctive swishing synths. Of the songs on the EP, this is probably the most collaborative. Both artists give each other room to breathe and express themselves, finding a neutral and exploratory ground. The vocal hook playing over the top of the track is so damn catchy that it will take up home in your mind, causing mass hits of the replay button.

‘What About Us’ has Faker written all over it and wouldn’t be out of place on his Thinking in Textures EP. The song is a loungey affair, with Flume’s expert production and dissonant drums complimenting the soulful nature of Faker’s vocals. The production gives a depth of colour that Faker’s own material is missing, providing a complex and riveting use of samples, synths and production. Faker’s vocals are chopped and moved around to give a full and rounded element to the song.

The EP’s final moment, ‘This Song Is Not About a Girl’, sends both artists in a new direction. More akin to something that Hot Chip or Phoenix would put out, the song is a pumping, straight-up pop number. For Faker, it is probably the weakest of the three tracks, while Flume is able to showcase a different direction, experimenting with multiple drum sounds as well as echoing synths. The end of the song breaks down to a post-dubstep swooshing moment of sonic magic. It is these moments where the genius of the pairing is really demonstrated.

As experiments go, Lock Jaw is a pure success. It manages to showcase what talents these two artists are. The obvious difficulty comes when trying to find the medium between the two. Fortunately, Lock Jaw manages this. It’s exciting to see something that could (and should) blossom and develop into a full album.

- Alim Kheraj

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