Drew transcends beyond the DJ booth to provide an EP filled to the brim with intuitiveness, creativity and above all else, powerful ecstasy.
Its wonderful to see someone in such synergy with their music. Some musicians and producers feel at one with the music around them, even if it isn’t something they crafted, you still feel their enthusiasm for it much as the person who made it. A dive deep into the meaning behind it, the idea that blending new ideas and concepts can conceive something that just screams boundless and unrelenting energy, passion and drive. Whether its in the booth, or in the studio, or just jamming, some artists really hammer home this organicness in their craft, looking across the board over their outputs to create consistency when it comes to their musical identity, tone and scope. Many artists choose to thing big, as many kick it up a notch in the studio, or when performing, and sometimes explore new avenues in the other way. And we are all for that here at Endless Grooves! its wonderful seeing people express themselves through the spectrums of other genres, interlinking and connecting the dots so that their outputs only push things forward. However, when people do blend their collective outputs, with their sets, studio work and record bag, it can lead to spectacular results. You close your eyes for a minute, you’re in a crowd, or even a field, and it all connects itself in front of you. You are taken right back to the moment where it all began, your love affair with that persons music. And its magical.
Eris Drew is very much up there with these kinds of producers, even more so now she is hitting her stride in the studio. A powerhouse behind the decks, the Goddess has been softly pummelling our ears and senses with only the highest quality of rave infused house, techno, breakbeat, and every colour of the sun in-between. Her sets are very much a representation of her approach, technically excellent, broadly flowing, and with such a pulse it leaves attendees in a warm glow for weeks to follow. In short, her energy leaves a wonderful impression, her expressive character behind the decks flowing out her finger tips and into the music in front of her. She has conjured up some very memorable sets, and indeed some highly memorable moments, either solo – where she tours around the world or as a resident of the Smart Bar in Chicago -or with her partner Octo Octa, with their 2019 Sugar Mountain Boiler Room set very much up there as one of the sets of last year. Recently, Drew is turning her hand to production, looking to inject her beautiful blends and bag of vinyl wizardry into her own tunes. We got a superb taste of this in 2018s split ‘Devotion EP’ with Octo Octa. Here, we got an ear for how Drew applied her energies to wax, and oh boy was it a good one. Easily one of the years standouts, both producers gave up stellar performances, in both emotive terms and in order to dance. We all got a taste, and were very eager for more. She contributed another stellar track, ‘See You In Snow’, to 2019s Needs – Not For Profit release NNFP 006, that further confirmed her production credentials and further gained plaudits. Drew released a mixtape that same year, ‘Raving Disco Breaks Vol. 1’, which over two hours of wholesome ecstasy, confirmed her status as one of the best DJs around. It also gave us another insight into the sorts of tunes she might be releasing in the future, her DJ DNA infused within this most technically on point and hynoptic of mixes, it only furthered the desire for listeners every where to hear more of Drew’s own works. And now, we are blessed once again.
Her new EP, ‘Fluids of Emotion’, draws from both her devoted approach to mixing, her excellent musical ears, and perhaps above all, her invested passion and enthusiasm for it all. Every little corner of each track feels highly considered, collated to draw upon every facet of life and provide us with the same feel we get from seeing her do it all in a club. The twists and turns provide moments where we can pause, maybe just soak it all up for a minute, before she allows us to descend once more into the most emotional of rave/house/90s inspired tunes. She truly stamps her identity as a performer onto this, and this record just oozes Eris Drew, her style, her grace. So lets just jump into it.
The opener, the title track, begins off with a calculated beakbeat, that focuses on the off beat ever so slightly. Filtered in, we are greeted by the vocal sample, with the lovingly tender crackle still faint. You already know what you’re in for here. The vocals give way for some key sequences, wonderfully fresh and looking back as much forward, with deep shallow pads operating in the background to prop it up. The drums keep doing their thing, as the vocals come back in, along with some classic scratches, applied at exactly the right moment of course. It feels as if Drew is communicating with the sample, the vocal and the stratch having a mini conversation. The scratches then signal the introduction of the bass, and takes the track, briefly to another place for a minute. The track then strips everything back, as it descends into a sample laden break, the vocal only briefly making an appearance. This is the edge of your seat moment. Then it all comes back, around and around, we could do that moment all day. The key line comes back, along with an additional pads to boot. To top it all off, Drew exercises the drums for a bit, adding in additional effects and filtering for maximum impact. After all that goodness, who doesn’t want a workout of the highest order? for your mind and for your body. This very much feels like the kinda breakdown you would experience at one of her sets. Just mesmerising. Up next comes ‘Transcendental Access Point’, and we move ever so slightly into the realms of hooooooze. The drums kick things off, the steady hi hat beginning it all, with chiming low end keys moving with the beat. Then, a godlike chord progression comes in, moving up and down like water, and before you know it, the song is in full swing. The drum beat more consistent than before, as Drew looks to amending constantly the tone and textures of the synths. Backdrop pads add into it all, and the journey continues. Little subtle bass pads signify the next phase, the focus on drums and riddims, the track doing its utmost to engage and retain interest. The way it moves so intuitively between segments, never losing sight of what it could conjure up along the way. Moments flicker throughout this track, and we just await the. next big moment. The track descends, for the vocal sample, which hilariously describes smoking a joint laced with DMT at a harpsichord concert. The sample is on par with the Orb’s vocal in ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’, in that it describes the tone of the experience, only resonating for a moment to give a voice to all the wonderful music occurring around it. The track then picks itself up, with a new voice, and moves further into the dance, its pure burning energy there for all to revel in. Simply, fucking glorious.
To wrap things up, we have ‘So Much Love To Give’. Drew returns to the chopped breakbeats here, with the reverb adding texture and adventure to proceedings. Teasing the little bass hum, she knocks up the drums a notch, in true Drew fashion, blending things to absolute perfection. Then, as if just naturally, the drums start swinging, with the spaces between the original break filled up with so much goodness. A quick rewind, and we move into 6AM hands in the air territory. Three chord progressions, blended with an angelic vocal, give way for the drums to turn rhythmically mind blowing, sweeping up everything in its immediate vicinity and just fucking go for it. The keys give away for some moments of reflection, pauses in the beat and in the dance, giving Drew time to mess around with our perceptions of time and space. Vocal samples, drum effects, grooves and loops abound around the broken beat, and then out of the mist comes the beat, before it all descends back into it all. This only really feels possible from someone so at ease with their own talent, a reflection of someone who reads between the lines and the grooves to conjure up something that is technically mesmerising. The chords come back in, perhaps to nudge us into reality, as the hands go up in the air once again, one more time. Damn.
There are moments here that simply take your breath away. Listening to this record, it helps you see into Drew’s world just a little bit more, where the twists and turns seem like gigantic leaps for what someone is capable of doing. These tunes are mirrors, mirrors to a producer and a DJ who can do somethings we cannot, her emphasis on emotive energy as much as how that energy is harnessed is all on display here. In the dance, we forget maybe how that moment made us feel, because it was so damn good we got lost before coming back. Now, we sit here in our rooms, or walking down the street, and we can keep revisiting these moments again, and again, again. The stuff that dreams are made of. We revel in this release with wide wide smiles, at ease hearts, and constantly moving feet. Drew made us move, in so many goddamn ways. An EP for the ages.
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