Review: Originally starting back in the mid-noughties as a slightly Ed Banger-esque producer, London based Swede Blende has mellowed over time into a more discofied take on the electro sound. He's also forged a bond with the always-hip Eskimo recordings. Here he presents three new sparkly gems: the cowbells and string-laden "Paramount", the raw '80s punky-funk of "Sparkle" and the wall of synths beauty that is closer "Plush". Just lovely.
Review: Blende has been on the London scene for a few years now, building up a following for his classic electro-disco productions. Now he's got a new EP on esteemed Belgian synth-pop label Eskimo, and he's clearly settled right at home. "Fake Love" is excellently produced electro-pop, not unlike a much more polite Uffie, and with some subtle Chic style chords and a big juicy chorus. Villa chop up and re-skewer the original in their remix, and the humorously titled Chordashians provide a pulsating, arpeggiated and melodic version. The Living Islands supply two versions of their Tropical Doom mix (one's a dub), which isn't that doomy but is a pretty lovely Italo-disco excursion.
Review: There's something deliciously vibrant and multi-coloured about this single from London-based Swede Blende. "Running" is an attractive chunk of bubbling Balearic disco, painted in bold colours, soaked through with classic electrofunk synths, and boasting a deliciously soulful vocal from Hercules & Love Affair singer Gustaph. Happily, the accompanying remixes are equally as vivacious. Former breakbeat crew Kraak & Smaak deliver a wonderfully fluid, melodious deep house take - all shimmering electronics, soft-focus pads and metronomic rhythms - before Knight One turn the original into a dayglo slab of wide-eyed pop. While radio-friendly, it also sounds like the kind of tackle that would sound good blasting out of a poolside soundsystem, somewhere swelteringly hot and sunny.
Review: Blende is slowly becoming one of Eskimo's "go-to" artists. "Back To Summertime" is the cheery nu-disco/synth-pop fusionist's fourth single for the Belgian label since 2012. The track itself is something of a jaunty, synth-heavy summer shuffler, with Mattie Safer's attractive vocals rising above a bouncy, P-funk influenced backing track laden with kaleidoscopic melody lines. Arguably even better is the remix by This Soft Machine, which recasts the track as a rubbery chunk of sumptuous disco house complete with razor-sharp strings and life-affirming slap bass. To complete a rock solid package, Cavego weighs in with two reworks; a revivalist electrofunk "Extended Remix" and an "After Dinner" remix that re-wires the track as a blissful chunk of live-sounding Balearic disco.
Do You Remember? (instrumental mix) - (6:29) 119 BPM
Review: Since first joining the label in 2012, Blende has been one of Eskimo's standout artists, releasing a string of attractive Balearic disco workouts. Predictably, the London-based Swede has done it again with "Do You Remember", a shimmering, sunshine-friendly Italo disco-goes-Balearic pop workout complete with strong lead vocals from collaborator Mickael Karkousse. Skip the radio edit and head straight for the Extended Mix, a far more satisfying and life-affirming beast that uses positive chord progressions and druggy arpeggio lines to build energy before Karkousse's killer vocal drops in midway through. It's accompanied by a tasty instrumental mix that is, if anything, even more glassy-eyed and grandiose than its predecessor.
Review: Ten years ago, Eskimo Recordings emerged from Ghent, as an outlet for mix albums from hometown heroes the Glimmers. Since then, the label has gone on to be a leading light on the nu-disco and nu Balearic scenes. Fittingly, this expansive tenth anniversary set was put together by the Glimmers, and features two solo DJ mixes featuring label highlights aplenty. For DJs, the real bonus is the huge selection of unmixed tracks on display, which adeptly showcases the depth and variety of the label's output. Highlights are plentiful, from the woozy Scandolearic vibes of Lindstrom & Prins Thomas and brilliance of early Aeroplane, to the sun-bright dream pop of Hiem, and the bouncing dancefloor groovery of LHAS Inc.
Review: Last year's Pink Collection, the first in Eskimo's Colour Series of compilations, delivered a sumptuous blend of baggy Balearica, synth-heavy nu-disco, electronic deep house and wide-eyed indie-dance. Here, the long-running Belgian label repeats the formula, serving up 12 new and recent cuts from a wide-range of artists. Highlights come thick and fast, from the touchy-feely goodness of Freeform Five's Roisin Murphy hook-up "Levinthian" and the atmospheric nu-disco-goes-acid of Volta Cab's subdued "Smoke Some Kill", to the guitar-laden Balearic house of Peak Oak and company's "Nova", and Elke Kleijn's sensual, string-laden deep house epic "A Tale of Two Lovers".