- The historic university town of Nijmegen in Holland has a lot to offer musically, as I discovered last year. There are labels like Shipwrec and Wolfskuil, clubs like Doornroosje and Planet Rose and loads of parties, festivals, promoters and artists that form a rich and distinct community. ESHU are very much a part of that. Now down to three members from four, Jocelyn Abell, Ivano Tetelepta and Daniel Lekatompessy have been pushing their brand of techno "in all shapes and forms" since 2010. As their eponymous label has expanded, it has welcomed like-minded locals into the fold, including Nijmegen trio SYS and Tom Liem from the homegrown collective ARC#.
ESHU have covered a lot of ground, but they rarely stray from the slow-burning and broody dub trips of their self-released debut EP. On the Fraktur EP, "Winter Track" is a chilly take on their signature sound, while "Creating Moods" thaws it out with bright, warm pads. The title track's curious sound design makes it a low-key number, and "Core" finds a beautiful balance between feathery synths and a suckerpunch bassline. "Hello" is the real highlight, rushing forth with a militant, Mills-esque sci-fi sound. It erupts midway through, spewing ice-cold machine noise all over. "Yorubaland" is another eyebrow-raiser, a delicate and glitchy creature. ESHU have stepped a bit outside their already wide remit on Fraktur, and it's a delight.
A1 Winter Track
A2 Creating Moods