FKOF Review: EshOne’s ‘Elk’ EP
EshOne, as ever, has something wicked in store for the dancefloor. This shouldn’t come as a surprise — the American musician has cultivated a reputation for producing bangers. His latest release on Joe Nice’s Gourmetbeats, the Elk EP, is precisely what we’ve been primed to expect from the badman — in the best possible way. Still, the punch this EP packs is shocking for its sheer sonic impact.
The Elk EP — named as a nod to EshOne’s own Elk Beats imprint — pops off with Corked. The tune is an infectious wobbler, rumbling with a gritty, raw energy reminiscent of Coki’s productions. Characterised by its gurgling low-end texture, Corked was unmistakably made to perpetuate tension on the dance floor. The track bears a subtle grimey vibe, revealed in the suspenseful synths lacing the tune and the notably clear mid-range designating it as an ideal companion for vocals. Corked is contagious in a careful, understated way. True to the pattern proven by EshOne’s past releases, the tune is sure to be pervasive in the dance.
In fact, EshOne’s DJ sensibilities play a massive influence to his producer persona. The artist’s tunes are unique — and often ubiquitous — because each seems to orchestrate a special moment in a live set. This tendency is made profoundly apparent by Teleport. The second track of the Elk EP is complementary to Corked, but distinctly separate. Corked follows an artful escalation that feels like a build-up; Teleport totally obliterates whatever was built. By far the heaviest track to grace the Gourmetbeats catalogue, Teleport is an aggressive assertion of pure power. The tune is a proper interpretation of the violent rhythm that fostered the “riddim” style, marked by the immersive sound and sophisticated production that defines sound system music. Chaotic and abrasive, Teleport is overstimulating by design. It is animalistic and destructive — the sort of anti-revelatory climax intimate to dubstep’s dark tradition. There is nothing subtle about this tune. Its message is a masterful manic scream, articulated with the piercing musical enunciation that makes EshOne’s music so impossible to ignore.
The Elk EP contains the sense of sonic personality that defines the Gourmetbeats label. It’s placement among the release catalogue is especially astute. In context, the eighth Gourmetbeats EP is yet another demonstration of Joe Nice’s uncompromised selector sense: EshOne’s gritty, forceful aesthetic provides the perfect follow-up to tunes like Oxossi’s Malevolent and Mesck’s Bad Future, showcased on the Los Angeles EP. I’ve mentioned before how the label’s releases seem to follow the trajectory of a DJ set; at this point, the pattern feels intentional.
The Elk EP is set for digital and vinyl release on November 4th. Pre-order the EP now via Unearthed Sounds.
Peace, love and respect.