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Eskmo - Come Back
Oct 14, 2010
Total plays:
6 times
Why do we like this?
Experimenting and innovating in his productions for nearly a decade now, San Francisco's Brendan Angelides, aka Eskmo, has recently released his self-titled debut album, Eskmo, via the latest label to his name, Ninja Tune. Angelides has been shaping himself as an artist under other labels such as Warp and Planet Mu, as well as his own label, Ancestor, but with the change of companies came the change of his game, for better or for worse.

I have always admired Angelides for creating something different than what can be called mainstream electronic. There is a certain organic flow to Eskmo's productions that I can close my eyes to and be swept away into a sci-fi jungle dreamscape. However, closing my eyes with Eskmo is almost more out of confusion.

With Angelides' use of vocals in Eskmo, there is a lot of clutter and tension between his voice and the corresponding layers of noise behind it. However, the single and album-opener, "Cloudlight," although vocally-fixated, encompasses all the experimental elements of Eskmo in a smoother, more harmonious manner that seems convoluted in other parts of the album.

Most of Angelides' most notable and polished releases have been singles and EPs, such as 2009's "Agnus Dei" and "Hypercolor," where there seems to be the perfect balance between smooth flow and raw labyrinthine, allowing him to focus more on the experimental aspect of the productions. Incorporate dismal vocals, however, and there's a completely different story.

Ninja Tune quotes Angelides on his website, Eskmo.com, where he explains that Eskmo was written over the period of a six-month stretch "in the middle of a whole bunch of personal relationship-type stuff, a lot of deep life-experiences happening that helped the music just bleed out of me. I just poured all those feelings into the music, it's very cathartic. This is the first full body of work where I'm singing all over it, and allowing myself to get over that furlough of expression has been really liberating."

It seems like Angelides is letting his most fascinating productions slip away from the attention that they so deserve in order to make way for vocals that almost take a bit of life from the album.

Nonetheless, I have faith in Angelides to continue making a name for himself as a genre-defying artist, and with Eskmo being his debut full-length album under a new label, I have undoubted faith that his future productions will show for nothing less than this acclimated proficiency.
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