When Flume previewed his new album, Skin, to fans back in January, the response was mixed. Whether fans enjoyed what they heard or not, everyone agreed the Sydney producer had chucked everyone a curveball.

The album is set to drop on Friday and we’ve since heard several cuts from the eagerly anticipated album, but one constant remains: Skin doesn’t sound anything like Aussie EDM golden boy’s 2012 debut.

At just 24 years of age, Flume is remarkable in that he’s been able to forge an instantly recognisable and unique sound in the world of electronic music, which so often rewards producers who jump on any bandwagon.

Flume’s sound is so distinct that its given rise to an entire army of copycat producers who are aping the warbles and off-beat drops the producer is known for. It’s certainly not going unnoticed by other producers.

In fact, Flume is one of them. As he recently told triple j‘s Richard Kingsmill, the swarm of copycat bedroom producers imitating the sound of Flume’s first album forced him to jettison his old tricks and find new ones.

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“It was a difficult second record,” the producer, whose real name is Harley Streten, told Kingsmill. “I had moments where I couldn’t write; had moments where I was writing lots. It was just a massive learning process for me.”

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Streten admitted copycats forced him to explore new soundscapes. “I do, I have to move on but as annoying as it is – it’s also flattering and it also means I move forward rather than just get lazy and keep using the same sounds,” he said.

Skin is set to drop this week and features the singles ‘Never Be Like You’, ‘Smoke & Retribution’, ‘Say It’, and ‘Wall F**k’ amongst its 16 tracks, including collabs with Raekwon, AlunaGeorge, Little Dragon, and more.