By: Anand Harsh
For years, Sam Eckstein has been waiting in the cut, biding his time for the rest of the industry to catch up to his unconvential take on bass music. Meanwhile, he'd also been circling his own sound, honing his production skills, but also figuring out how to perfectly encapsulate the fuzzy melodies and rhythms running around his head.
A HOLE IN THE FOURTH WALL is when you're meeting your friend for lunch, and you pull into the adjacent parking spots at the same exact time. The rest of us caught up to Esseks just as he pinned the tail on his sound.
Sure, Wakaan's chief, Liquid Stranger, was far ahead of the curve in making his label a home for Eckstein. And it's not to say that his previous work on the label, of which there is a lot, as well as tracks dating back far before he found his permanent home aren't incredible—they are—but what really separates out his latest 7-track album from the rest is how cohesive this whole thing feels.
From the opening thumps of “Heavy Meta” to the closing strains of “Little Wires,” there's an almost inescapable grativational pull around the central themes of the record.
Sure, “Tunnels” featuring Wax Future reaches a might further out into the nether regions of galactic funk with its soaring guitars, but throughout each track is a defiant, throbbing pulse that is at once cartoonish and bleak. It's brutal in its flexing bass, but inviting in its hypnotic adherence to the beat.
Tracks like “Only1” and “Through Walls” will knock, not only in his live sets, but in those of his Wakaan familia, but what's even more important than packed crowds is its listenability on the train, in traffic, or at the laundromat. An album should feel at home as much when you're gritting your teeth and crinkling a shitty beer can in a crowd as when you're jamming a Swiffer underneath your bed to coax out dust bunnies. Eckstein is hitting all the quadrants with this gem.
Of course, I could just be daydreaming about The Untz Festival, where he headlines the Early Arrival Party alongside DMVU, EASTGHOST, and more, June 1 in Mariposa, California. Snagging your pass for the first day is imperative at www.theuntzfestival.com.
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