Just going to start by saying that I am, in no way, a hardcore Flume supporter. If anything, I’m annoyed with artists similar to Flume, mainly the Chainsmokers and DJ Snake, who contribute to the paradigm of vapid, easily accessible electronic music. Dance was a genre that used to be synonymous with experimentation and adventurous electronic glitches to revamp music but, with the increased appeal of big room artists, many, even Flume, had lost their way. But I can ignore that for now because, in the words of the internet great Keemstar, “this shit is fucking FIRE!!!”
“Smoke and Retribution” is the dark horse that popular electronic needed. Amidst the dreadful 2016 radio hits such as “Closer,” “Don’t Let Me Down” and “Let Me Love You” (and no, I’m not even going to exclude “Never Be Like You”) it was refreshing to hear something with so much chemistry between the instrumentation and the featured artists.
I hear to0 many EDM songs today that would sound better –if good at all, for that matter– if they were just released as instrumentals. It’s this problem that has kept me away from tracks from labels of the likes of Spinnin’ Records.
Staples works so well with this track. While I don’t think the production of “Smoke and Retribution” deviates much from the rest of Flume’s album “Skin,” it stands out because of how well the electronic glitches go with Staples’ aggressive demeanor. He does not hold back and delivers his sets of bars with blunt force.
Ever since I was blown away by his sophomore album “Summertime ’06,” I’ve had a huge admiration for Staples and confidence in his future as an artist. This guy doesn’t drink, smoke, or even want to go to parties and can still craft better sequence of verses about drugs and gang life than most rappers today, in my opinion.
To quote the great Kanye West “Niggas be writing bullshit like they gotta work. Niggas is going through real shit, man they outta work. That’s why another goddamn dance track gotta hurt.” I take this quote to heart when I listen to pretty much 99 percent of modern dance music, especially with the mindset that a teenager can make an accessible beat with five minutes of time and Logic Pro x. But with Staples on this track by Flume, someone who’s at least a bit of a renegade when it comes to EDM, it all goes down smoothly.