The remarkable thing about Eglo, the London based label started by Alexander Nut and Floating Points, is not just the way they move between genres, but it's the fact they seem to nail it every time. Nut's warm-up set at Eglo's Third Birthday seemed to capture this aesthetic. In the space of 15 minutes, Nut lunged from wonky electronic beats to manic Ghanaian afrobeat to Musical Mob's grime classic, "Pulse X." In the wrong hands this kind of genre-hopping would sound contrived, but Nut kept it classy throughout.
Eglo's Third Birthday took place on a Thursday, a feature that made the party feel special as fabric doesn't usually open mid-week. Mixing live performances and DJ sets, the night sat comfortably somewhere between a club night and a gig: a tactic that may help fabric breathe life into London's currently unanimated mid-week clubbing calendar.
Another of Eglo's trademarks is the familial nature of the label. The key take away from their label of the month feature seemed to be the close-knit vibe of the imprint's artists. It wasn't entirely a surprise then that one of the evening's highlights came from Fatima: Eglo's in-house vocalist. Performing alongside a tightly drilled band and the soul singer Oliver Day, Fatima's down tempo and jazz-influenced tracks felt like a more musically complex evolution of Brit acts like Soul II Soul. Despite a shallow back catalogue, little more than two EP's so far, Fatima's half-hour set included stronger material than most major label acts. With time, and the right songs behind her, she has the potential to develop into an act with seriously wide appeal.
Next up was Eglo's star player, Floating Points, or Sam Shepherd to the Tax Man. Shepherd's live show was the most eagerly anticipated slot of the night, not just because he produces Eglo's best music, but because this was only his second ever live show. Sitting above a complex array of crusty looking hardware, Shepherd divided his time between indulgent piano playing and knob twiddling. At times, as is the case with many live electronic shows, it was difficult to work out what aspects of his show were actually "live." But judging by the look of furrowed intensity that cloaked his face—an expression that'll be familiar to anyone who's dealt with uncooperative machines—the show had more spontaneous elements than most. Perhaps the most notable feature was just how banging it was. Leaning on the wonky house of "Shark Chase" more than his jazz-influenced repertoire, the set would've sounded perfectly at home on one of fabric's techno focussed Saturday nights. Closing out with a fantastic rendition of "Arp3," complete with added live Herbie Hancock-esque piano noodling, you left convinced that Floating points can now add "serious live performer" to his long list of enviable talents.
It's testament to how good the party was that the appearance of Dez Andres felt almost unnecessary. Andres is a Detroit native and cohort of both Moodymann and Slum Village. His set summed up these two worlds perfectly by delivering flight fingered turntablism, head snapping hip-hop, and unidentifiable soul-tinged house. At one point he looped up a segment of a record to give a shout to the late J Dilla: one of Andres' close friends and a key influence of Eglo. Unarguably, it was high quality stuff. But even so, they could easily have pushed one of the label's lesser-known talents up the bill and the party would've still been a huge success. Although they've been at it for a while, Eglo's Third Birthday felt like the point where the label's best acts hit their stride. If they can keep up the pace, British music may be better off for it.