Eskmo – Terra

January 22nd, 2013
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Eskmo-TerraStep Into Another World

It is few and far in between when we see an emerging artist who brings an entirely original style of music to a sample-saturated industry of cut-and-paste producers. Thankfully, Eskmo has been doing just that for years. One would think that an artist such as Eskmo lives in a secluded cabin in the woods, but this Los Angeles resident draws his inspiration from a city packed full of innovative musicians.

Although he has been making music as Eskmo for hardly three years now, his success within the underground community is no small deed, having appeared on dozens of compilation s such as a collaboration with Amon Tobin, a featured Glitch Mob remix, and a mix with BBC Radio. The 7 tracks found on Eskmo’s new album, Terra, adequately demonstrate his rapid surge in popularity with deft production, masterful creativity, and beautiful imagination.

A synergetic synth roar welcomes listeners to Terra on “Buffalo,” the first track on the album, before crunchy, tribal drumming takes over alongside pulsing frequency shifts, unintelligible chanting, and all of the other lucid sounds typically employed by Eskmo. A running motif throughout Eskmo’s music is the theme of shamanism, made prominent by the vocoded singing found on “Shadow,” which proclaims in the style of an incantation, “Erase your Shadow / Chasing Figures. Releasing Shadows / Retrace Your Figure. Embracing Shadows/ Realize Your Figure. Dance, Dance with your Shadow.” When paired with trance-like, pulsing synthesized keys, the song proudly conjures the imagery of witch doctors and shaman dancing together at a rave deep in an enchanted forest.

There is a certain jazz-like element to Terra, in that it features melodies which deviate from primary harmonies, like in “Push and Pull,” who’s rhythm and tempo stutter at certain parts of the song. This comes as no surprise from a seasoned Low End Theory performer – a venue known for its experimental and progressive beat scene.

“In the fountain breeds circular life. The powder cloud-drops rest on the shoulders of giants” is the ominous foreshadowing spoken on the song, “Giants,” which goes on to describe, in great and very much lucid detail, a celestial fantasy world. The final track on Terra, “Deep Sea,” consists a simple-yet-powerfully emotional piano solo which buzzes with a growing static white noise crescendo as if it is triggering a final ascension into another realm.

For fans that have followed Eskmo since the inception of his career, this album is a must-have; even those new to this style of music will still very much enjoy Terra. Although the only drawback here is that it is a mere 7 songs in length, Terra falls under the category of “too much of a good thing is a bad thing” and, in fact, could easily be considered a concept album. No matter what tickles your fancy, virtually everyone will be able to take something away from Terra.

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By Ryan Stabile Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews

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