Eskmo Eskmo


Eskmo EskmoEskmo

7.4 / 10


Mist in San Francisco. Drizzle. The morning cold comes in through the crack under the door. The cat wakes you up. The window is covered in condensation. There’s no coffee left. The hot water doesn’t work. Someone has called you during the night, the number isn’t in your phone and the cretin hasn’t left a message saying what they wanted or who they are. It’s going to be a long and greyish day in Frisco Bay, but you know everything will be all right. You know that when you put music to all this to-ing and fro-ing of nonsense, defeat acquires a very special beauty. You know that listening to records like this one the mist, the drizzle, the bloody cat and the idiot who called you without leaving a message can even be fun. Eskmo isn’t from San Francisco, but he lives there. It shows. His music is the perfect reflection of a misty waking up in the Californian city, it’s the finest rain falling on your hat, it’s the hymn of those who have no coffee left at home and are freezing in their beds. His last movements take us to Warp, Planet Mu, to the magnificent “Hypercolor” EP (2009) and a curious collaboration with Amon Tobin called Eskamo –you can find the top tune “Fine Objects” on Ninja Tune’s 20th anniversary compilation. His jump to the Ninja label is nothing more than the confirmation of and the award for a sensibility that is different from the rest of the pack when it comes to interpreting the probabilities of wave in the subatomic dominions of the post-dubstep micro-universe. In that impossible world, hidden from our eyes, Brendan Angelides navigates over quantic vibrations of IDM, wonky, hip hop, dubstep, R&B and funk, and pirouettes with D.O., without pastiches reminiscent of so-and-so and without jumping on the bandwagon of new beats for the sake of fashion. Just listen to the weird crunches and sick synthesisers on “Moving Glowstream”, the beat with strange claps and robotic voices on “Color Dropping” or the depressing soundscapes of “You Got, I See That” –glacial ambient with pop touches– to confirm that Eskmo uses post-dubstep perversion to construct his own artificial melancholy bubble, a world of soft glitches, synthesisers that don’t seem to be there, Detroit soul, Sheffield skin and Los Angeles bones.Cosmic notes with infantile melodies ( “Starships”), Japanese strings and FlyLo-style beats – “Siblings”–, watery rhythms that sound like sexual moans on “Cloudlight”, R&B made in Willy Wonka’s factory – “We Got More”–, and narcotic funk with croaking bass lines on “The Melody” : Eskmo’s environment are fields with silicon grass for electric sheep. His productions are full of small details, but they are never baroque or over-produced. It’s all done with perfect measures, without giving excessive prominence to what others use as trademark sounds: synths that don’t annoy, occasional 8bit sparks, discreet picks from the legacy of Boards Of Canada, microscopic rips of hip-hop. All seasoned with his voice. He likes to accompany his tracks with little phrases, laments, mumbles and on some he even sings, and he does it without muffling up. I have never been fan of producers who think they have to sing, but on Eskmo’s grooves, his voice works very well. One more piece brilliantly fitting for an album that sounds like the last click of a finished Rubik’s cube. Mist in San Francisco. Óscar Broc


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