I know this is not brand-new and you probably heard about it already, but I’m sure you’re eager to read what I have to say about it. Right?! Ok, so I’ve been following Eric Lau and his releases for a little while and I really appreciate his production. It is therefore always a pleasure to hear he has a new project out. I was also fortunate enough to interview the London-based producer for Word Is Bond a couple of months ago and he had very interesting things to say. With The Mission EP, Eric Lau teams up once again with Guilty Simpson, after a first collaboration on For The D back in 2007 and I have to admit the two of them form a winning team and obviously enjoy working together. The combination of the MC’s voice and the producer’s music may leave some skeptical on paper, but the EP proves that it actually works extremely well and they complement each other perfectly. Coming back to hip-hop production but sprinkling it with touches of soul, jazz and funk, Eric Lau proves his versatility and the extent of his talent. To make the project complete, he added the incredibly beautiful voices of Fatima and Olivier Daysoul, that make some of the tracks slightly emotional and enchanted my ears, as well as the skills of musicians Chris “Daddy” Dave, Alex Bonfanti and Damu The Fudgemunk.
Introducing The Mission EP by asking are U Ready, Eric Lau catches your attention immediately and the epic instrumental with heavy drums gives your head a will of its own, while your ears appreciate the lovely synths and get ready for 17 minutes of aural pleasure. You will actually not stop nodding your head all the way through, thanks to some amazing drums and catchy instruments. It is then time for Guilty Simpson to enter the stage and explain what The Mission is. As his seamless flow rides the head-nodding beat, the Detroit MC emphasises the need to stay humble and be grateful for what he has, while representing his home town and making sure he’s the best at what he does. After this statement, he is joined by Fatima and her gorgeous voice, and asks you Can you feel it? on one of the most soulful and beautiful tracks of the EP. He expresses his gratitude once again and how thankful he is for his life, reminding us that there is “not a second to waste” in this life and that “experience is learning from mistakes“. Those little gems of inspiration are much appreciated and fit the mood of the instrumental perfectly. Chilling for a bit, the MC then takes some time to Burn It Up on a very funky beat with a gorgeous bass that hypnotised me and made me want to
burn one dance the night away. The lyrics are as laid-back as the instrumental and in true hip-hop fashion, Eric Lau introduces some samples that will be quickly recognised by hip-hop and soul heads (including D’Angelo sexy vocals, that make the music all the more sensual). After this smoking break, Guilty Simpson comes back with some great story-telling and the atmosphere gets a little bit darker with the beautiful piano. On He Said, She Said, the MC deals with failed relationship and karma, when miscommunication and different desires are tearing people apart. Probably the most personal track of the EP and one of my favourites, Yesterday is a way for the Detroit native to reminisce over his childhood and remind people that they shouldn’t take anything for granted. The lovely and emotional piano notes emphasise the reflective mood of the lyrics, while Fatima and Olivier Daysoul’s voices are simply heavenly and add even more depth to the track (those harmonies at the end left me speechless). Remembering friends lost to gun violence, Guilty Simpson shares yet another gem that people should keep in mind: “whatever it is, you better say it now“, as you truly never know what tomorrow may bring. Finally, Eric Lau ends this amazing EP with a most beautiful outro, where the gorgeous piano and jazzy vibes will help you reflect on the previous song and its lyrics, while giving you an irrepressible itch to press replay. Music that great is addictive, I have to admit.
In case you want to know even more about The Mission EP, listen to Eric Lau as he discusses the project and showcases some of the instrumentals.
I know you are dying to get your hands on this EP and I don’t blame you! You can get the vinyl from Kilawatt or hhv.de, among others (that includes bonus tracks) or download it on Bandcamp. If you are really in a hurry, simply click on the link below and enjoy.