San Francisco’s Brendan Angelides has been recording under the name Eskmo for more than ten years, and after a couple of acclaimed singles for Warp and Planet Mu, he’s finally ready with a full album on Ninja Tune. He’s abandoned the dancefloor on this album, and his music is hard to describe; inventive descriptions like glitchstep or slowrave comes to mind.
Opener and lead single “Cloudlight,” is an epic and dark showcase in slow, moody and organic fragments of splashy, bubbly dub and Angelides’ own monotone vocals over deep pulsating basslines. “We Got More” follows with tablas and a slow motion 80s Prince pop beat. “Color Dropping” is next; a strong dubby and heavy track with rich synths and a delayed beat. With such a strong and varied trio of an opening you’d think that the rest of the album would be on par, but unfortunately the highlights are few. Except for “Siblings,” a beautiful organic track with keys and ambient strings, the rest of the album is unmemorable.
Brendan’s got talent, and it’s easy to compare him to other West Coast stars like Flying Lotus and Nosaj Thing, and jazzy German techno. But his production gets repetitive and isn’t eclectic enough in that company. There’s too much noise between the highlights, and even though he has his own signature production, you get tired of listen to the same industrial basslines and vocal mumblings ten times over. His production is rich, layered in structure and has a unique atmosphere, hopefully next time around he’s able to tighten it down and keep the listener trapped and focused.
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