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What We’d Listen To – Elgato

31 March

Hessle Audio mainstay Elgato is not the most prolific of artists, having released only three EPs in as many years. However, his back catalogue gives serious testament to ‘quality over quantity’, with his tracks making it into such prestigious mixes as Ben UFO and Pearson Sound’s Fabriclive compilations, as well as podcasts from Deetron and Prosumer’s collaborator Murat Tapeli, among others.

His sound is just about as ‘UK’ as it gets, drawing inspiration from Garage and Funky with a sub-bass obsession and chopped up vocals. It is, however, a little too avant-garde to fit into either of these genres, as torturously long, drumless breakdowns are a strong theme, with these spaces nearly always making way for his trademark minimal shuffles and chest-shaking bass rumbles, as opposed to the straight up dancefloor drops these terms suggest.

Despite making the rounds in Ben UFO’s sets since 2011, ‘Dunkel Jam’, his first non-Hessle EP, has just seen release. The A side runs in a similar vein to Jam City’s recent white label ‘Now We Relate’. It’s an endlessly repeated, stripped back sample, which is slowly built up around with stunningly syncopated drums, white noise blasts and a machine gun bassline. ‘We Dream Electric’ is a little less out there. A similar vocal sample sits atop a slow, swinging drum line and a spaced-out, arpeggio synth before the rumbling bass enters.

Interestingly, both tracks seem to steal elements from his previous works. ‘Dunkel Jam’ has a metallic drum sound almost identical to his 2010 track ‘Tonight’, in exactly the same rhythm as well; while in ‘We Dream Electric’ the drums and rhythm are nearly indistinguishable from ‘Zone’.

Another, final thing that should be noted about Elgato is his DJ sets. Each and every one is totally on point and sports its own collection of rare 12”s, showing his history as a true 90s house and garage head. Here’s a Boiler Room set from 2011 where, after a sterling jungle set from Untold, Elgato spins some garage (41:30). Check out his podcast for Little White Earbuds as well!

stephenrhowe