As it enters its 20th year of existence Belgian label Eskimo Recordings shows no sign of slowing down or scaling back its ambition. To kickstart this auspicious year the label returns with The White Collection’, 8th release in its acclaimed ‘Colour Series’ and a globe-trotting compilation featuring 14 tracks of leftfield electronic music drawn from 9 different countries.
Opening the compilation we head to the Russian Republic of Tatarstan where producer Anton Firtich, aka Antenna, has been steadily making a name for himself with a series of stunning cosmic disco releases. ‘Song for Udmurtia’, named for the region where both Anton’s wife and his cat came from, builds on that reputation. A breezy piece of laid back electronica perfectly positioned somewhere between the sophisticated lounge music of Herb Alpert and the Scandi-sounds of producers, and Eskimo alumni, like Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas.
Heading west we find ourselves in the Greek capital of Athens where Eskimo veteran NTEIBINT joins forces with vocalist Matina Sous Peau for ‘Back to the Roots of Love’. Well known for his sumptuous reinterpretation of classic disco sounds, ‘Back to the Roots of Love’ sees NTEIBINT widen his sonic palette, the result a stunning number that combines pop and disco sounds with the jazzier end of 90s Broken Beat.
Returning home, Gent 4-piece Omar Dahl provides the first entry in the compilation from a Belgian band with ‘Oscar’s Walk’. Inspired by Arabic and Balkan sounds and even a little of the widescreen cinematic feel of Ennio Morricone’s Spaghetti Western soundtracks, ‘Oscar’s Walk’ combines mournful brass and string instruments and shuffling beats to create a wonderfully hypnotic 5 minutes of genre-defying music.
Having previously provided 2 remixes for Eskimo much tipped Australian producer The Oddness makes his full debut on the label with ‘Get It Together’. Another dose of psychedelic, dub flavoured electronica that keeps the tempo low and the strangeness dialled up, ‘Get It Together’s chugging beat provides the perfect backdrop for myriad sounds to rattle and reverb their way into the cosmic ether.
Tel Aviv’s Middle Sky Boom makes a welcome return to Eskimo with the aptly titled ‘Dreamy Route’. A hazy, atmospheric jam featuring gauzy vocals, insistent looping chimes and textures that drift over the stuttering beat, the perfect accompaniment to a cocktail, or two, on a golden Mediterranean beach as the sun slowly sinks below the horizon.
Back to Belgium and this time an up & coming producer, Julian Hival, who recently made his debut on Traum Schallplatten. Drawing inspiration everywhere from Berlin underground techno to alienating downtempo compositions Julian’s contribution to ‘The White Collection’, ‘Lavender’, is a sprawling epic filled with eerie menace that recalls the likes of composer John Carpenter’s synth heavy 80s soundtracks.
With just a handful of releases to his name Sweden’s Paresse has already been tipped for big things by the likes of DJ Mag in the UK and ‘Angelus Redux’, a club ready number fuelled by a percussive heavy beat, bubbling bass line and topped with sparkling synth arpeggios and the kind of breathy French vocal that ecstatic moments in dark spaces were made for, shows just why so many have him on their radar.
One of the many highlights from Eskimo’s recent releases was the debut EP from Belgian producer Transistorcake. Ending a 5-year hiatus since his debut was picked up by Soulwax for their GTA station, ‘The Future Plans EP’ featured a set of evocative and ultimately euphoric electronica. This ‘Alternate Take’ of ‘Future Plan I’ from Transistorcake himself showcases his full live band and features a more improvised feel to the lead synth melody and driving motorik drums.
Heading west to San Francisco’s Bay Area Eskimo welcomes back Michoacan after a 7-year absence. Making up for lost time the producer, whose back catalogue also includes releases on labels such as DFA and Bear Entertainment, delivers a fine return in the shape of ‘I Can See’, a rousing disco-punk-pop number sure to find a home in both sticky-floored indie clubs and tropical disco beach parties alike.
If records were judged on name alone then Tonarunur’s ‘Relatively Safe Horseback Riding’ would be a shoo-in for all 2020’s end of year lists already. As it is the Icelandic producer’s Eskimo debut more than stands on its musical merits too and if ever a song has better captured the fun and excitement of a ride on a magical flying horse via the medium of sparkling synth-heavy space disco then we’ve yet to hear it (and of course would love to).
One of the new generation of Scandi-disco artists to have emerged in the past couple of years Bergen’s Cavego follows up a series of hugely acclaimed releases for Eskimo with the euphoric, bouncing, ‘Alfred (Og Vennene Hans)’. Harnessing the power of his enviable synth collection to dramatic effect Cavego delivers a more club focussed effort than previous releases without losing any of the cinematic feel that made his debut EP so entrancing.
Already a club hit Russian duo Radial Gaze’s ‘Totem Echoes’ makes a much-welcomed reappearance on ‘The White Collection’. An eclectic mix of disorientating synths, tribal chants and industrial percussion it’s a stunning release from this nascent partnership that recalls the like of Moscoman and fellow countrymen Simple Symmetry.
Having previously released on Eskimo with Middle Sky Boom, Eliezer teams up with fellow Tel Aviv producer Asaf Sanzer, aka Rina, for ‘San Sebastian’. Recalling the likes of Red Axes and Curses ‘San Sebastian’ filters Middle Eastern melodies through post-punk, house, disco and techno to dramatic effect, the end result in the kind of track that could equally soundtrack a beach party in Tel Aviv or a Goth basement club in Leeds.
Ending the compilation on a sweet, sweet blissful high Eskimo turn to another Nordic star in waiting, Boblebad. Built around a simple yet instantly addictive acoustic guitar refrain and sympathetic beat, ‘Kontemplasjon’ subtly builds as new elements, swirling synths, softly caressing strings and additional guitar parts, glide in and out of the mix gently melting away all your troubles.
Since launching in the year 2000, Gent based Eskimo Recordings has gone onto become one of the leading electronic music labels in the world releasing genre-defining artist albums and compilations from the likes of Satin Jackets, Aeroplane, Lindstrøm, Prins Thomas, The Glimmers, Optimo, Psychemagik and many more. Since its launch in 2013 the ‘Colour Series’, now in its 8th edition, has continued to build upon the label’s reputation, not only for discovering and curating great music but for great design and continuing that tradition the cover for ‘The White Collection’ features a stunning photo, ‘Gravitation’, by Amsterdam based German photographer Katrin Korfmann.
The White Collection out April 3 – fanlink.to/TheWhiteCollection
01. Antenna – Song For Udmurtia
02. NTEIBINT ft. Matina Sous Peau – Back To The Roots Of Love
03. Omar Dahl – Oscar‘s Walk
04. The Oddness – Get It Together
05. Middle Sky Boom – Dreamy Route
06. Julian Hival – Lavender
07. Paresse – Angelus Redux
08. Transistorcake – Future Plan I (Alternate Take)
09. Michoacan – I Can See
10. Tonarunur – Relatively Safe Horseback Riding
11. Cavego – Alfred (og vennene hans)
12. Radial Gaze – Totem Echoes
13. Eliezer & Rina – San Sebastian
14. Boblebad – Kontemplasjon
Digital Bonus: Franz Matthews, Local Suicide – Tutan Jamon (1001 Nights Instrumental Version)
Making their debut on Eskimo Recordings this March, Berlin producers Franz Matthews& Local Suicide’s ‘Meditation / Tutan Jamon’ was a heady brew of psychedelic disco that joined the dots between the German capital and the sun soaked souks of North Africa.
Hailed as “propulsive and zen” by Resident Advisor and championed by DJs including Dj T, Red Axes, Perel & Acid Washed, the tracks have now been giving a fresh rub, with Eskimo going one better even than the genie from the Arabian Nights and fulfilling 4 wishes summoning up remixes from Manfredas, Chaim, NTEIBINT and The Oddness.
First out of the trap is Lithuanian producer Manfredas. Having made a name for himself with releases on labels like Les Disques de la Mort, Multi Culti and I’m A Cliché, Manfredas turns in a head spinning remix of Tutan Jamon, teasing out and extending the track in a masterclass of delayed gratification that eventually dissolves into acidic bleeps and drones.
Tel Aviv’s Chaim remix of Tutan Jamonmeanwhile sees the sometime Bpitch Control and Disco Halal producer up the tempo whilst losing none of the original’s exotic vibe. In his hands the track becomes a propulsive nu-disco number perfect for late summer parties under the stars.
Eskimo stalwart NTEIBINT is up next with his reinterpretation of Meditation. Once again the Greek producer goes to show just why the label has him on speed dial, delivering a stunning remix with Vamparela’s vocals and a hypnotic bass line combining to mesmerising effect.
Finally fresh from remixing Satin Jackets Australian rising star The Oddness returns to Eskimo with his own spaced out take on Meditation. Keeping the tempo slow and low the Melbourne producer unravels the track, pulling apart its constituent parts and allowing them all to float free.
Following on from the release of ‘Solar Nights’, the critically acclaimed 2nd album from German producer Tim Bernhardt, aka Satin Jackets, Eskimo Recordings have turned to a hand picked selection of up & coming producers and old friends to reinterpret several of the album’s key tracks.
With more than 11 million streams on Spotify alone, ‘Northern Lights’, Satin Jackets’ collaboration with David Harks formed a centre piece of the new album and the first track of it to be remixed.
Having made his debut on Eskimo in 2018 with the critically acclaimed ‘From Kazan With Love’ EP, Russian producer Antenna steps up to subtly rework the track with organic sounding drums, delicate synth melodies and uplifting diaphanous synths that raise up Harks’ vocals to new heights.
Having previously featured on Eskimo Recordings’ 2018 compilation ‘The Purple Collection’ as one half of Languages, Franz Matthews returns to the label alongside fellow Berliners Local Suicide with the ‘Meditation’.
Despite living on the same street for 4 years Franz Matthews and Brax Moody and Vamparela from Local Suicide only met recently through their common friend Sam Berdah (Days of Being Wild, Club Bizarre). Making up for lost time, the trio soon found themselves bonding in the studio, digging into their love of both the esoteric and travelling, and together channelled those passions into 2 spiritually infused numbers.
‘Meditation’was the first result of this inspired partnership, appropriately recorded at the same time that Matthews was also recording music for a meditation app, and features a freeform stream of consciousness from Vamparela over a suitably hypnotic backing of wistful guitars and breezy rhythms.
Between his production studio MOWD, his duo Languages, and his solo electronic project, Franz Matthews keeps himself busy. Making Berlin his hometown for the past 5 years, the Franco-German producer and DJ has always kept one hand in the Indie Dance world, while the other wanders in more Psychedelic Pop realms, a winning combination that’s seen him release music on imprints such as Eskimo Recordings, Days of Being Wild, Rockets & Ponies.
Local Suicide, aka DJs and producers Brax Moody and Vamparela, meanwhile have made a name for themselves putting on some of the most infamous underground parties Berlin has to offer, running their acclaimed blog and still finding time to make waves with their productions, a wild fusion of new wave, acid, slow techno and post-disco that has seen them work with the likes of Rodion, Mijo and Curses in recent years.
With his second album, ‘Solar Nights‘, set for release this April German nu-disco star Tim Bernhardt, AKA Satin Jackets, kicks off 2019 in fine style teaming up with Sydney based singer-songwriter Panama for new single ‘Automatic’. Fans of both acts are sure to find lots to love as the pair bring out the best in each other, Satin Jackets’ smooth disco sounds proving to be the perfect accompaniment to Panama‘s softly seductive vocals.
“It was super cool working with Tim,” explains Panama. “I remember the first time I heard ‘Feel Good’ via a friend at Future Classic and immediately fell in love with the vibe of it so I was stoked when the chance came up to write this track together. As soon as Tim played me the bass line, straight away I was hooked, it just really grabbed me and we quickly built the song from there!” They make it sound so simple but the resulting track is sure to earn a pride of place in both artists’ catalogues.
Whether producing modern Balearic house anthems such as ‘You Make Me Feel Good‘, seductively soulful tracks like ‘Through The Night’or genuine poolside classics like ‘For Days’, Tim has established himself as one of the biggest names in the modern disco scene clocking up more than 35 million streams of the debut Satin Jackets album, ‘Panorama Pacifico‘, on Spotify alone.
Panama meanwhile is the musical moniker of Sydney based singer-songwriter Jarrah McCleary. Making his name with acclaimed releases on some of the most exciting labels around including Future Classic and Roche Music, Jarrah’s blend of live and electronic sounds and raw emotional songwriting has firmly established himself as one of Australia’s hottest musical exports.
Single Released January 25 on Eskimo Recordings.
‘Athena’ is the latest single from nu-disco star Tim Bernhardt, aka Satin Jackets, and sees the German producer team up with American soul singer Anduze. The resulting collaboration is classic Satin Jackets, the track’s warm melodies, light, breezy guitars, delicate piano and driving rhythm creating the perfect backdrop for Anduze’s stunning vocals and emotional lyricism.
Talking about the track Anduze explains “Athens, Greece has always lured me in with her warmth, charm, and overall ancient beauty. After visiting each year for a decade, I was inspired to write about the city I now live in.”
“Once I’d finished the lyrics, the musical landscape I thought would compliment it best was a vintage and melodic electro vibe. I’ve always loved Satin Jackets’ style and production, so I thought to reach out to Tim, and I feel so fortunate that we could collaborate. The result is just what I’d pictured it to be… Athena.”
Whether producing modern Balearic house anthems such as ‘You Make Me Feel Good’, seductively soulful tracks like ‘Through The Night’ or genuine poolside classics like ‘For Days’, Tim has established himself as one of the biggest names in the modern disco scene clocking up more than 30 million streams of the debut Satin Jacketsalbum, ‘Panorama Pacifico’, on Spotify alone.
Released September 21 on Eskimo Recordings.
Keeping things nice and sleazy Parisian producer Simon Says makes his debut on Eskimo Recordings covering English synth-pop band Blancmange’s 1982 album track ‘Feel Me’.
Transforming the song into the kind of outrageously funky slice new wave disco that could have sat proudly on an old Ze Records compilation its low slung groove is now sure to soundtrack as many illicit ‘Cinq a Sept’ assignations as it is sweaty dancefloor moments.
Upping the tempo French remixer extraordinaire Yuksek turns the track into a streamlined, sci-fi disco number complete with vocodered FX, bubbling cosmic arpeggios and synth stabs that spin off into space and builds to a suitably uplifting climax.
Meanwhile Greek producer and Eskimo veteran NTEIBINT strips the track down to its bare skin and puts the focus on its percussive elements and rubbery bass line, the result a chugging floor filler that shows exactly why Eskimo keep his number on speed dial.
Finally disco historian Bill Brewster returns to Eskimo a year on from his acclaimed ‘Tribal Rites’ compilation with an extended re-edit that once again proves that he’s as handy with razor and tape as he is behind the decks.
Having featured on Eskimo Recordings’ last two compilations Russian producer Antenna now steps up for his first full release for the label with the 5 track ‘From Kazan With Love’ EP.
Hailing from the Tatarstan Republic where temperatures frequently drop below -15°C, Antenna shares more than just an appreciation of good thermal underwear with his Nordic contemporaries and his music, all glacial cosmic vibes, warm arpeggios and melodies that wear their heart on their sleeve, stands up alongside the best Nordic disco around.
Opening with his two contributions to Eskimo’s colour series of compilations, the gentle and optimistic caress ‘Sparks’and the breezy slo-mo Balearic gem ‘Love 66’, Antenna really reaches for the skies with the EP’s third track ‘Astra’, the kind of euphoric Trance-Disco that’s sure to cause more than a few outbreaks of emotion on the dance floor.
If ‘Astra’sounds like a one-way ticket to the cosmos then it’s just as well Antenna follows that back with ‘Take Me Home’. Dialling down the BPMs and up the groove, Antenna finds the unlikely sweet spot somewhere between P-Funk and Prog Rock to produce some out of this world, languid space-funk.
Closing the EP, ‘Waiting’reveals another side to this enigmatic producer, ditching the disco beats for something more experimental whilst incorporating stately strings and elegiac piano into the proceedings to create an unexpected, if wholly welcome, coda to the release.
Having made a name for himself with releases on Correspondant and Magic Feet, Swedish producer Ivan Berggren, aka Paresse, makes his debut on Belgium’s Eskimo Recordings with the ‘Sloth Machine’ EP. Featuring 4 tracks of horizontally inclined cosmic disco, balearic house and elegant, emotional electronica it sees Paresse comfortably take his place on the storied label’s back catalogue alongside the likes of Lindstrøm, Prins Thomas, Aeroplane and Satin Jackets.
Kicking things off with the EP’s title track, a stately mix of chugging synths, bubbling melodies and the kind of beatific pads that normally function as a short hand for a host of angels descending from the heavens. Having tended to the well being of our souls track 2, ’Being Vain’, offers something for both body and mind, a driving 4/4 kick drum over laid with looping, hypnotic bleeps will keep you locked on the dancefloor whilst the stirring, grandiose strings lift you up.
If that all sounds a little spiritual for you then the next track, ‘Temple’, adds just the right amount of sleaze to the proceedings. The track’s throbbing bass line and dramatic synths, reminiscent of classic Italo-Disco by the likes of Tantra, could have provided the perfect soundtrack for bad behaviour in the nightclubs of Milan in the late 70s and early 80s and indeed parties around the world today.
Finally ending the EP on a blissful note is the sublime ‘Quiet Light’, the kind of sun kissed instrumental track that crate diggers would re-discover tucked away on the b-side of an 80’s pop single and would, decades later, go on to enjoy a golden second life on the beaches of the Adriatic coastline.
Timeless, beautiful music it’s easy to see why Paresse’s releases have already found favour with DJs from across the musical spectrum from The Hacker to DJ History’s Bill Brewster and onto the likes of Ewan Pearson and this new EP is sure to build on the Swedish producer’s fast growing reputation.
Having previously collaborated back in 2015 Eskimo artists Horixon (Monarchy’s Andrew Armstrong and Joe Ashworth) and Else Born have again teamed up to deliver the beautiful, heartfelt pop lament, ‘Hello’. With the British duo providing the perfect setting, a quiet storm of numinous pads, sparse piano chords and an almost 2-step beat, Else Born (aka Philco Fiction’s Turid Alida Solberg) has never sounded better, her vocals bursting with a subtle, fragile intensity that brings the song to vivid life.
“It’s late at night. It’s too late and the stars are out,” Turid explains. “You’re stuck in a never-ending fight with your lover. You really don’t feel like fighting, you try to get out of it and you try to stop his crying. You look for a spaceship to lift you up up up and away. And… suddenly you’re under the stars – no more. For a couple of seconds. Till you fall back into the familiar.”
On remix duties we have reworkings from Eskimo veteran NTEIBINT and Aleph Music’s Aera. Tapping into the long, proud history of heartbreaking disco ballads, Greek producer NTEIBINT’s remix will ensure there’s tears on the dance floor as its insistent, and remarkably, funky bass-line and stirring strings create a gorgeous counterpoint to Turid’s delicate vocals.
Finally fresh from releasing critically acclaimed records on labels like Innervisions and Hivern Discs Berlin based Aera provides a ‘Dub’ mix that wrings every ounce of emotion out of its entrancing bleeps and beeps. Inspired by a recent gig in New York the track subtly builds to a disorientating climax before deconstructing itself once more, till just the ghost of the track remains like an echo of a lost love. It must have been quite a gig.