Famous Eno‘s career arc doesn’t match the usual boom-bust curve that defines so many young artist’s tenure in the electronic music space. Exploring the various tendrils of Afro-Caribbean derived UK dance music and US regional club music, Eno has been a staple on the Mixpak and Swing Ting rosters since the release of his All Good FM single in 2012, constantly expanding his purview without ever losing site of the dancefloor. The Eno sound draws on afro beat, dancehall, grime and UK funky and, depending on who he’s collaborating with, traverses those with almost unmatched dexterity. Frequent collaborators like Murlo, Swing Ting and the Fractal Fantasy crew often interject their own styles, but Eno’s forceful, rhythmic backbone is always there, collecting the pieces into a whole optimized for the dance.
Most recognizably, Eno’s work has been marked by the voices of a huge range of MCs. Released in October, Music For Clubs is his longest release in years and functions as a vibrant encapsulation of the many sounds he’s experimented in. Jamaica’s Bay-C, Ghana’s Bryte and Gafacci, London’s Killa P and Trigganom, and New Jersey’s UNIIQU3 contribute their distinctive approaches, all tied together by Eno’s restrained yet anthemic production. In lesser hands, the release would come off as a hodgepodge of disparate styles, but under Eno’s tutelage it comes together nicely, pinging from one idea to the next and giving plenty of time and space for each MC to shine. It’s a sound introduced on singles like “Gangsters” and Samrai’s 2014 remix of Eno and Rubi Dan’s “Terminator”, but it truly flourishes on Music For Clubs.
It was Eno’s bootleg and remix work that initially drew us to the producer half a decade ago though and takes on Paleman’s “Beelzedub” and Sia’s “Little Man”, not to mention the unbridled mania of his and Murlo’s remix of Akito’s “Metamessage”, are still classics in our book. They’re also a good indicator of his full throttle approach to DJing, clearly rested in soundsystem culture, but not giving over too much to tradition. His Astral Plane Mix functions as both a compendium of recent work and a roadmap for those uninitiated to his approach. It begins with Music For Clubs staple “Life” and ends with a brand new remix of King Louie and Mikey Dollaz’s Zora Jones and Drippin produced “WW4” and touches on bmore, ghetto house, gqom and more in the middle. It’s a big, party-oriented sound that will be familiar to listeners of his work on Fractal Fantasy Mixpak, and Swing Ting, exploding into new territory with every transition. Download a copy of Astral Plane Mix 175 here and hit the jump for a full track list.
Photo Credit: Daniel Sannwald
The past few years have been filled with musical projects attempting to bridge, evade or make irrelevant the digital/physical divide. No project has been more successful in that than Sinjin Hawke and Zora Jones’ Fractal Fantasy, a platform that has grown to encompass exclusive digital zones, interactive art installations and a genuinely immersive live act that has been on the road for several years now. Considering the complexity (in sound design as much as the scope of the project) and specificity of their work, it’s difficult to imagine another artist fitting seamlessly into the FF aesthetic, but that notion was bucked with the introduction of Xzavier Stone. The Zurich-based artist was introduced in full earlier this year via the THIRST LP, a fluid, eternally bouncy collection that followed several collaborations with fellow FF members and a bootleg compilation that helped assert the musical space that Stone was drawing from.
Phrased as “a contemporary take on 2000s Rap and R&B through the lens of a European mixed race adolescent,” THIRST‘s palette will be familiar to fans of 2000s production mavens like Timbaland, Scott Storch and Swizz Beatz, a sound that both ushered in the contemporary rap and R&B production mode and was more linked to the traditional musicality of past major label studio music. And whereas Hawke and Jones often dive into the magnificent excesses of contemporary club music with reckless abandon, Stone is often more reserved, finding space for something akin to pop songwriting on tracks like “CCW” and “XLYT”. The album is strewn with overt references to regional rap musics like bounce and snap as well, introduced as loving tribute before being thrown into the blender and later manifesting in an entirely new context.
Stone’s Astral Plane Mix offers further context, drawing lines between contemporaries outside of the FF universe (Lunice, Sega Bodega, SOPHIE) and originals from Lil Uzi Vert, Mariah Carey and PNB Rock. Bits of Bangladesh production, a subdued Alkaline rendition and hyper-modern sound design interject, connecting individual nodes across time and space and drawing everyone from CYPHR and Ssaliva to Rich Boy and Trae Tha Truth into the same melange. You can download Stone’s mix here and hit the jump for a full track list.
Sinjin Hawke & Zora Jones‘ long awaited return to the West Coast has been a long time coming and, this Friday (5/8), we finally get to catch the two live, in the flesh. Slotting into IHC Presents’ Club IHC format, Sinjin and Zora will be accompanied by GHET20G0TH1K’s own Venus X and local fave P. Morris at The Lash Pop Up in Hollywood. We don’t make it out to that quarter of the city all too often these days, preferring our friendly confines on the Eastside, but if there ever was a time to head up the 101, Sinjin and Zora’s tour stop is it. From their respective work with Pelican Fly to the ongoing, collaborative and visually groundbreaking Fractal Fantasy series, these two have married a wildly unique digital aesthetic with brilliantly functional club forms.
With L-Vis 1990, MikeQ, DJ Taye and more involved, Fractal Fantasy has hosted some of the most multidimensional sonic adventures in the club music realm, and that’s before you even touch on the videos, all-engulfing 3D adventures into obscene dance floor negatives, modular death stars and contortionist silver globs. It’s all stunning really. Add to that Sinjin’s recent co-production on “Wolves”, opening single from Mr. West’s new Swish LP, and the fact that the duo have already been in the studio with Sicko Mobb and a melange of Chicago legends on this tour, and this Friday is going to be unmatched in LA lore. Enter your favorite song/video from the Fractal Fantasy series in the form below for your chance at a pair of free tickets. Expect this one to sell out so get in on the contest, but also get your own ticket as a back up plan.
It’s always a pleasure to post the best press shot in music, in no small part because the song it accompanies is always a smasher. Sinjin Hawke evolved into an unstoppable beast in 2013 through a series of remixes and collaborations and 2014 will likely end up being one of those “leap” years for the producer that everyone talks about. Whether he’s revamping ghetto house or doing Just Blaze better than Just Blaze (or with Just Blaze for that matter), the Barcelona-based producer has elicited an innumerable amount of excited yelps from this listener. If I had to pick a highlight from Sinjin’s 2013 , it would have to be the establishment of the visual-focused Fractal Fantasy series, a collaborative effort with significant other Zora Jones that has featured L-Vis 1990, Morri$ and Ms. Jones herself. The latest Fractal Fantasy effort, titled “ThunderScan”, comes from Sinjin and Fade To Mind/Qween Beat talisman MikeQ. If you’ve followed Sinjin’s progression over the past several years, the vocal twists and irregular pacing will not come as a surprise, but with MikeQ’s ballroom “ha”s and crashes thrown into the mix, “ThunderScan” appears to exist in a wild, unpredictable state. Watch the video and it will all make sense.