Fatima & Floating Points – Follow You (Eglo Records)

A handful of releases in and the Eglo label are already on the cusp of ruling the first flushes of 2011 – it’s no surprise that they’ve shot to such prominence when you learn that the label is presided over by Alexander Nut and Floating Points. The pair are two producers and Djs held in awe by punters and cohorts alike. Both seem able to twist their talents to fit any number of styles but resemble a pair of electronic chameleons mostly concerned with showing off their differences rather than fitting in.

Floating Points, in particular, is creating a distinctive strand of electronica which somehow melds the best bits of disco, house and r’n’b indebted beats into a sound which is fat, full bodied and ready to boogie. Although the stable’s latest EP, ‘Follow You’, a joint effort with soulstress Fatima, elevates their game into a different stratosphere entirely.

Fatima is a London-based, Swedish-born vocalist with a life affirming voice – and the four songs contained in ‘Follow You’ are all about her. Floating Points aka Sam Shepherd lets the queen of the label all over them and does little to distract attention from that voice. Instead he opts to leave space in the place, a move which is usually the hallmark of a music maker as much in tune with his sonics as he is confident in the courage of his convictions.

Throughout Shepherd’s subtle, warming electronic pulses wash around Fatima, enabling her rich vocals to glide over a production style that owes as much to gospel and jazz flavourings as to the more contemporary kind of dance he’s known for. Fatima’s stylings have been on parade for time through joint ventures with the likes of Dam Funk, Scratcha DVA and Funkineven – but arguably have never sounded so golden. ‘Cinnamon’ is a woozy doodle of a tune before the Dilla-esque vibes of ‘Mind’ have Fatima recalling classic Badu. But ‘Redlight’ is undoubtedly the one. It sprawls and soars over a 4/4 beat, spiralling and gliding before reaching a serene and fuzzy plateau, like a cosmic cat stretching out and purring into the galaxy.

If you’re looking for a sound far away from the bombast and glitch of much club music, which mixes vintage soul with futuristic computerised swathes, then it’s all in here. Eglo will need to construct a different playing field if they’re to continually move the goal posts like this.

Jim Ottewill

‘Follow You’ is released through Eglo Records on May 9.

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