Records from Eglo, Public Possession, Optimo Music and Emotional Rescue all stood out for their own distinct reasons in July.
The centrepiece of the label’s recent compilation is to receive a surprise vinyl pressing.
Swedish-born singer to drop three a track prelude to forthcoming debut album.
FunkinEven and Kyle Hall cross studio swords once again as FunkinEvil for the next Wild Oats release.
Another mysterious video has surfaced from the shadowy Strange U duo, an emerging hip hop project backed by Eglo Records.
Eglo Records will celebrate four years of excellent music with a forthcoming double CD compilation featuring key artists Floating Points, Funkineven, Fatima and more.
The all-round brilliance of “Phone Line” just got that extra bit more special with a superb new video.
And now for something completely different – step into the world of Strange U with “Plastique”, an audio visual taste of what to expect from the rapper’s forthcoming material for Eglo Records.
Eglo’s rise to become one of London’s premiere record labels has been built on various facets since its inception in 2009. Musically, the buttery soul of Fatima, the analogue degradations of FunkinEven and speaker box boogie of Arp101 amongst others have been complemented by the tireless vision of label boss Alex Nut, a man who has seemingly seen many a label run to the ground through mismanagement, and as such was finally forced into doing it right. From the outset however, Floating Points (aka Sam Shepherd) has always been the jewel in the Eglo crown, with his obvious enigmatic musicianship matched increasingly by ambition that veers towards the grand scale – see the Floating Points Ensemble material for the most overt example of that.
This latest keenly awaited release from Floating Points is a further stunning example of his ambition and production prowess, with Shadows primed as the first part of an ongoing experiment in immersive audio-visual displays between the producer and designer Will Hurt. Anyone who indulged in the pre release fanfare for Shadows will no doubt have basked in the excellent video for “Sais” which perhaps best portrays their experiments with software that generates visuals based upon activity from drum machines and synths. The vectorised nature of those experiments is replicated on this release via the spot varnished finish that covers both the outer and inner parts of the gatefold sleeve. That’s just one aspect of a truly impeccably presented release from Eglo, with the heavyweight vinyl that clocks in at 190gm housed in curved HPDE inner sleeves. Of equal importance, naturally, is the music and the five tracks here are perhaps Shepherd’s most accomplished to date, taking full advantage of the space afforded across the four side of vinyl.
“Myrtle Avenue” is a dreamlike way to open any release, plunging into vast, widescreen expanses of texture and detail, further cementing comparisons with Theo as the freeform keys align with undulating layers of percussion. ”Realise” and “Obfuse” are the precursors to the stand out tracks that occupy the second twelve, but are in no way filler, with the former teasing out finely placed 808 programming over pensive simmering patterns, whilst the latter is a fizzing, stripped down drum machine workout akin to Space Dimension Controller’s recent “Usurper” during the opening moments, though the metallic fierceness is offset by the eventual arrival of yet more tenderised synths.
And thus we come to “Arp3”, which has been mentioned in glowing terms by those lucky few for far too long and finally committed to the release it deserves. It’s a track which will secure Shadows a place in many hearts more, expertly billowing into a haunting techno production filled with so many production intricacies and deviations of a rhythmic nature, you feel compelled to lift the needle back to start many times over. The aforementioned “Sais” seems like the perfect choice to occupy the final twelve inches, with Floating Points finally revealing the full fuzzed out, orchestrated glory of a track which was only hinted at previously via the dubbed version which was released on Record Store Day. Shadows proves to be an illuminating insight into what 2012 and beyond holds for both label and artist.
Along with a strain of likeminded future-jackers including John Heckle and Boddika, FunkinEven is one of those musical renegades surrounded by pretenders to the acid throne. From his surprising abode amongst the soulful ranks of Floating Points et al chez Eglo Records, he’s flung out a series of essential, if decidedly unhinged, 12”s and Roland’s Jam continues that legacy with gusto.
The title track takes no time at all in declaring its intentions as a squelchy beast aimed at decimating the dance. A stomping beat and nasty acid line form the backbone, which gets scuppered frequently by edits that display a fearless desire to screw people’s heads up just when they were managing to get lost in the groove. It’s almost lean in comparison to previous releases, but certainly no less deadly. The groove on “Take Back” ploughs a similar furrow, but with a many-limbed b-boy swerve where “Roland’s Jam” was all rigid 4/4 stomp. The synth nags in a similar way, but then leaves plenty of room for all kinds of freaked-out vocal hits and melodic outbursts.
“XXX” meanwhile gets even more explicitly acidic as the 303 action comes through in full effect. As the title might suggest, FunkinEven carries the torch for porno-sampling. It’s a tricky terrain that many haven fallen foul in – and it’s no Omar S “Look Hear Watch” – but he manages to navigate his way through without putting a foot wrong. The samples get even more frenetic and choppy to devastating effect, and once again the man proves just how fresh the most well-worn template in electronic music can still be. The madcap energy of FunkinEven would certainly scare off DJs that like music with control and precision, but those with a soft-spot for rough stuff will lap this up and come back begging for more.
Musician, DJ and all round smart cookie Sam Shepherd – aka Floating Points – entered the world of production in 2009 with a flurry of releases including Love Me Like This, J&W Beat and perhaps best of all, the Vacuum EP. These revealed a signature style that breezily combined deep house, soul, hip-hop and jazzy textures into dubby, undulating joints characterised by a hypnotic sense of movement. As a co-founder and central member of the tight knit Eglo Records family, Shepherd now juggles his time between DJing (he holds a residency at London’s Plastic People), producing his own music and studying for a PhD in neuroscience. As far as life commitments go, it’s a diverse and eclectic stew that shines through every time he DJs, with sets that regularly veer from jagged IDM to heaving techno and classic disco and funk.
Since that initial slew of releases, solo Floating Points material has been relatively scarce – unsurprising considering Shepherd’s hectic lifestyle – yet amazingly he admits to having 30 tracks finished and ready for release. The rightly lauded “Shark Chase/People’s Potential” 12″ emerged from the shadow of the Vacuum EP in early 2010, and in more recent times we’ve seen the much-discussed “Marilyn” and equally delicious “Sais” dub. Then there’s his production work for Eglo chanteuse Fatima and his pride and joy, the Floating Points Ensemble, which debuted with the “Post Suite” single on venerable London imprint Ninja Tune. Juno Plus scribe Helen Luu caught up with Shepherd after his vinyl-only set at the recent MUTEK festival in Montreal to chat about why he doesn’t want to make a solo album, his scientific alter ego and his audiophile passion for the EMT German broadcast turntable.