Esa Williams has been a very busy man. Between curating Red Bull Music Academy workshops and running the popular Subculture nights in his adopted city of Glasgow, not to mention forming part of live act Sensu and DJing some of the biggest festivals around Europe, Cape Town born Esa has somehow found the time to launch Rememory Music, a boutique label complete with unique vinyl artwork, as well as summon a few friends (who also happen to be some of Scotland’s finest producers) for remix duties on it’s first two releases.
The latest of these is Luxarama, so named as a respectful nod to the artist’s childhood introduction to musical theatre by his late father, who he proudly names as the main driving force behind his work today. With a foot so firmly rooted in the past, this EP evokes an almost nostalgic window on the future. Esa has managed to inject his memories, history and inspiration straight into the shiny keys and dubby pads of the title track, each element evolving tantalisingly over an infectious 4/4 arrangement that itself seems to progress with every bar. In contrast, the Midnight Marauders mix is a far more submerged affair. Ross Telford and Ali Herron (one half of OOFT) retain the undulating nature of the original, but this time rely on more polished keys and drier percussion as their preferred method of propulsion. Williams ends things off with the Mervin Granger’s at the Luxarama dub, dispensing with the restraint displayed before, and opting to elevate the circular piano and radiant dub elements to dizzying, hypnotic heights.
Having already earned the seal of approval from the likes of Jimpster, Mixmag (House Tune of the Month) and EQTV.dj (Record of the Day), it is hard not to proclaim that 2011 looks to be a banner year for this young artist. It’s no secret that this blog holds a special place for fellow South African expats, so we for one will be paying close attention.
Words by Robin Would