Eglo Records Takeover
Thursday 6th June
The Hifi Club, Leeds
If you don't know about Eglo, get to know. Headed by Alexander Nut, longtime Rinse FM DJ and champion of all kinds of soulful new music, Eglo Records has been around for four years this month and with a bit of luck they'll be here to stay. For last Thursday's showcase Nut himself came up from London, along with ARP101 (an alias of Alix Perez), and the Eglo live band, who accompanied Swedish-born singer Fatima. It was a fairly quiet evening, and with a ton of students having made the post-exam exodus Hifi wasn't quite full enough to do justice to the magnificent DJs and performers onstage. But with the unrivalled talent on show, crowd numbers faded into insignificance.
After a soul, funk and hip hop warm-up from Alexander Nut, which featured more than its fair share of Tribe Called Quest classics, the Eglo live band took to the stage with Fatima at the helm. The band, composed of keys, drums, and bass, kept things simple, with only a couple of solos here and there. Humble but brilliantly talented, they were the perfect accompaniment to Fatima's stunning vocals. Fatima herself was the real superstar of the night, utterly majestic and more than living up to her 'Queen' moniker. She began with 'Mind', an old staple from 2011's Follow You, the critically acclaimed EP produced by Floating Points. Apart from that the set was mostly composed of incredible new cuts from her forthcoming full-length, each making the most of her accomplished vocal skill. No-one truly listening could deny that Fatima really is pure talent. From the funkier cuts to the more traditionally soulful numbers, her voice was always absolutely stunning. The charismatic Swede has a superstar personality to match her gorgeous voice - half the time the crowd were cheering her ridiculous dancing skills as well as the songs themselves.
One sensual, mournful blues number towards the end was particularly exquisite, and she finished with the crowd pleasing 'Red Light', also from the Follow You EP, but the new tracks produced by Scoop Deville were truly next level - just the right blend of sparse and sultry. If her set on Thursday was anything to go by, Fatima's album, due for release in autumn, is going to be another instant classic. It was incredibly refreshing to witness talent like that in the flesh, and it was especially lovely that the woman herself was so charming, happy to chat to her fans after the show.
ARP101 was also stellar. If anyone had ideas about heading to bed after Fatima's lush vocals, ARP101 soon set them straight. It was a casually diverse, transatlantic mix of grime, trap, and bass heavy, percussive, chew-your-face-off electronic monsters - the kind of set that keeps you on the sweaty dancefloor whether you like it or not. Finally, Alexander Nut finished the night off with another brilliant set, with more cuts from Trim and Africa Hitech, who seem to be an Eglo favourites, as well as garage and disco classics. A personal highlight had to be Nut mixing DJ Rashad into Staff Benda Bilili and then going straight into O'Bryan's 'I'm Freaky' - nothing but musical gold. Eglo Records: showing everyone how it's done. Undoubtedly a label to keep your eye on.
Review by Tabitha Thorlu-Bang
Images courtesy of Hannah-Rachel Photography