The 10 Best Freak House Tracks, according to Dance System
Now in their fourth year of operation, Eglo Records – the imprint headed by Rinse regular Alexander Nut and Sam Shephard (more familiar to you and I as Floating Points) – have decided to take stock of where things are at with the release of a double album compilation. ‘Eglo Records Volume 1’ chronologically tracks how the imprint steadily built itself into a UK essential over two CDs: selecting from the label’s hard-to-find back catalogue, as well as coming up with a bunch of exclusives. The CD set also boasts a 20-page booklet of photos, a foreword from Alexander Nut, and full details on the Eglo backstory.
For what apparently started out as “accidental hobby” for Alex and Sam, Eglo quickly established a solid nucleus around the formidable talents of FunkinEven, Fatima and – of course – Floating Points. Delving into Eglo’s back catalogue in a week where the first teases of summer have been beamed over a sun-starved London, made for an ideal fit. The anticipation that sets in as April spills into May is captured in much of CD1’s ebullient charms. Fatima’s Soul Glo (that title couldn’t hit the nail more on the head), and the 303-twinkles of FunkinEven’s She’s Acid yearn to be played out in the sun.
The growing sophistication of Eglo comes through in CD2 – opening with Fatima’s meditative Innervisions from 2011’s ‘Follow You’ EP – but could be tracked through Floating Points’ offerings alone. These range from the exceptional Sais Dub, which starts out like an ice cream embarking on a trip to Mars, to the recently shared neo-classical mind-expander Wires. Mizz Beats’ Scientific Brainpreist further dips its toe into a cosmic palette, before things wind up with Reflexes, an exclusive from LA’s Gifted & Blessed under his guise as The Abstract Eye.
We caught up with co-label boss Alexander Nut to discuss the compilation and discover why the label is at an exciting crossroads right now. Below that, you’ll find Floating Points, Fatima, FunkinEven and more talking through the where, whens and hows of some of the compilation’s key cuts, track by track. One for the diary: Eglo are having a birthday bash at the Jazz Cafe on the 2nd June, featuring an album showcase from Fatima and Peter Hadar making his UK debut.
What made now the right time for an Eglo compilation?
Alexander Nut: We’ve been running for 4 years releasing singles, EP’s, 12 inches, limited vinyl runs and what not, but so far we haven’t actually released an album or anything on CD format. So it felt like a logical step. Everyone’s working on new material and there’s been a lot of development and evolution. So this felt like a nice way of showing the world what we’ve been up to. The CD actually runs from 2009 to 2011, so other than the exclusive tracks there’s still the previous 12 months of our output to discover. We’ve lifted one track off each release 1 to 19, so for every one track that features on the CD there’s still the three or for other songs that featured on the original release, some of which are now out of print or never came out digitally.
Was it an emotional one going through the back catalogue?
“It kind of started out as an accidental hobby, so I’m really happy with how it’s all developed. It feels like we’ve carved out our own niche, completely from scratch, we built our own thing from the ground up.” – Alexander Nut
Alexander Nut: I don’t know if emotional is the right word, or if it’s actually the catalogue that we’re looking back on, it’s more the journey and our history together that evokes strong feelings. Obviously I’m super proud of all the music we’ve released and I’m very familiar with it all. We’re touring together all the time, so the music is ever-present. It’s just really nice to have all the artists featured on the same release. I feel like we can move forwards now, begin a new chapter.
How has the label developed over the years?
Alexander Nut: Well it kind of started out as an accidental hobby, so I’m really happy with how it’s all developed. It’s become full-time. It feels like we’ve carved out our own niche, completely from scratch, we built our own thing from the ground up. From management, to promotion, to bookings, to publishing, we made our own model, we did it all ourselves. But it definitely feels like we’ve outgrown that now, everyone is well established and with a lot of experience. So it’s time to shift gears and step it up to the next level.
What’s next for Eglo?
Alexander Nut: A top priority for me is getting Fatima’s debut album finished, which is sounding amazing and features some amazing collaborations, I think that’s gonna surprise a few people. We have the 4th Birthday Party at the Jazz Cafe, and we have Eglo stages at this year’s Outlook and Dimensions festival. There’s loads of stuff happening, we have an EP coming from Dirg Gerner which is sounding great too. I don’t wanna give away too much but 2013 is going to be a great year for us.
1. Floating Points – Radiality
2. Floating Points – Vacuum Boogie
3. FunkinEven – Kleer feat. Fatima
FunkinEven: Very special release for me, as it’s the first under the name “FunkinEven” and it was a start of something special between me and Fatima. I’ve been making music for years, from house to hip hop, soul etc, and I wasn’t confident on showing anyone my beats outside of my close friends and fam. I had a gig one day at Plastic People in London, I thought to try it out and play it to the audience (Alex & Sam were there). They loved it, it sounded great, so we all agreed to release it on Eglo.
Fatima: Me and FunkinEven made this one when I was hangin’ out with him and his family round Xmas a few years back. In between delicious fruit punch and Baileys we got the inspiration from a Kleeer record resting on a table in the room. It kinda became our lil’ tribute to Plastic People.
4. Shuanise – Catch
Shuanise: Catch was a piece of music produced by Hubert Daviz, after hearing the music the song seemed to write itself. Lyrically Catch came to life after watching a close friend who had been unfairly sent back to his home country where life was generally tougher and much harder to survive. Watching his journey and the emotions he went through returning to his home country inspired most of what I wrote at that time and Catch was a piece of his story.
5. Fatima – Soul Glo
6. FunkinEven – She’s Acid
FunkinEven: Second release on Eglo, love the experiment between acid and soul, one of my favourite releases of all time. Another “Plastic People” tester with a similar situation as Kleer, it went down like a treat! And yet again agreed to release this on Eglo…
7. Floating Points – Shark Chase
8. Arp 101 – Deadleaf
Arp 101: Deadleaf is probably the first track that I wrote as ARP101, in fact it’s the track that kick-started my relationship and contact with Eglo. I sent it to Alex for general feedback which resulted in [it] becoming part of my first Eglo single.
9. Funkineven – Heart Pound
10. Arp 101 – Flush
Arp 101: Flush came together from experimenting with some new gear in the studio. It was made solely (excluding drums) with a Moog Little Phatty. The track came together really naturally.
11. Mizz Beats – Sanctuary
Mizz Beats: This was an old track that A had written and had sent to Alex, we thought it would go well with the others on my Eglo release.
1. Fatima – Innervisions
Fatima: Made in Floating Points’ flat in the basement in the middle of records, teacups, bills and random things. The song is about daring to follow your innervision/heart despite struggles in life.
2. Floating Points – Sais (Dub)
3. Floating Points – Marylin
4. Funkineven – Roland’s Jam
5. Floating Points – Danger
6. Arp 101 – U
Arp 101: I spent a fair bit of time producing this track. I wanted to produce something rich in texture and sound. From vocoder, to various analogue synths, I took sounds from pretty much every bit of kit in the studio and had a jam.
7. Mizz Beats – Scientific Brainpriest
Mizz Beats: I listen to a lot of slow jams, so I was just in that chilled out zone at the time and I always work off of the energy I feel in the moment.
8. Floating Points – Myrtle Avenue
9. Fatima – Visit You
Fatima: It’s a tribute to love. It’s also a reminder to embrace the time you’ve been blessed with, not let it slip away and do your thing. Made in Budgie’s studio accompanied by nice green, doritos, tea and all that good stuff.
10. Floating Points Ensemble – Wires
Floating Points: I’d used Fishmarket studio in North London for a few other sessions and was always into the sound they got out of there. So I rang up a few amigos and set a date to do something else down there. Antonio who runs the place showed me the Hammond B3 sitting in the corner and said it had just been restored. I’d never played one in my life, but having done the church organ thing as a kid, wasn’t too put off by all the buttons! So the first section of the tune was made up there, having been so amazed by how expressive this instrument is. I wrote down the parts on some scraps of paper and we just got that down in one take. Regarding the rest of the tune, other recordings we had done were all done together in one take. But for this I wanted to try putting it together in pieces, and to be able to recompose after the recording… thats probably why its taken 3 years from recording to get this out!
12. GB presents The Abstract Eye – Reflexes
Gifted & Blessed: This track is the result of a chance meeting between a TR-808 and a few Jupiters under my supervision and guidance. With minimal intervention, I set up a simple sequence and let the machines go.