After an intro of sampled drums laced with warm vinyl crackle, "Belonging" unfolds dense and wobbly, full of little bonky surprises, muted jazzy synth warbles and murky soul. Spacey, warm and inviting, it reminds you why after-hours was invented: to give full reign to that smoothed-out plateau of weightless pre-dawn solace. It's a fitting addition to Eskimo's trippy, progressive universe, and quite a departure from their 12-inch on Connaisseur earlier this year, where the group's Afrobeat tendencies were kept in check via a pair of smoothly jackin' house grooves.
Needless to say it's the instrumental side which allows you to delve deeper into the underbrush of narcotized polyrhythms. On the A side, some of the finer beat points get occluded by vocals of soulful attestation: "I stand still…I know my belonging." Underneath the smoked-out drum circle adds "welcome to the tribe, you're one of us." So if you talk about how good music moves you, you can also remember that some of it designed to keep you in place and open your eyes. Deep house tracks like this are the counterpart to expansive, voyage-centric numbers because they undergird the feeling that sometimes actually you don't need to go anywhere at all, and that happiness is—bizarrely enough—sometimes right in front of you.