2013 sees Eglo celebrate four years of releasing music with their first label compilation Eglo Records Vol 1, a year in which label head Alexander Nut ponders the next step for his close-knit stable of artists. Tom Banham speaks to Nut along with Fatima and FunkinEven.
What makes a great record label? It’s a subjective matter, of course, and the ingredients of success vary from label to label, and from scene to scene. Keen students of legendary labels, from post-punk outlets such as Stiff, Celluloid and Factory, to modern day underground success stories such as L.I.E.S , International Feel or Night Slugs, will tell you that there are certain characteristics that remain constant throughout. These include, but may not be limited to, a distinctive musical aesthetic, a vibrant group of key artists, an attention to detail lacking in lesser labels, and a steadfast artistic vision that never wavers, regardless of sales. Oh, and owners that don’t just know their stuff, but are open enough to new sounds to take calculated risks now and then.
It’s fair to say “Phone Line” has matured into something of an obsession for this writer since hearing it towards the end of last year, and the expectation of gripping it on cold, hard vinyl hasn’t dampened one bit despite its release finally arriving nearly ten months later. The infinitely playful collaboration between Funkineven and Fatima might just go down in history as one of the finest B Sides ever too, as “Phone Line” appears three tracks deep into an EP that further cements how well the duo work together, having previously contributed to one another’s Elgo releases.
The walls of FunkinEven’s East London home are adorned with old records, Simpsons figurines and NBA paraphernalia. Nestled inside a 16-bit Sega Megadrive is a Street Fighter 2 cartridge: this is a kid of the 80s if ever you’ve seen one. He was schooled in electronic music early on by his uncle – a Chicago house DJ – and soon became fascinated by hip-hop. The sound he has cultivated in his EPs for Eglo, the label run by Floating Points and Alexander Nut, has tapped into this upbringing – a fusion of styles that creates a sound that is familiar yet unique, classic yet contemporary. We caught up with one of the UK’s brightest young producers to discuss vintage kit, working with Róisín Murphy and his love of Plastic People.