Eric Lau New Territories

Eric Lau New Territories
Given his garnered blessings from international radio DJ tastemakers (Gilles Peterson, et al.) and such new school heroes as Lupe Fiasco and Little Brother’s Phonte, there’s no question that Eric Lau is a producer on the rise, and he proves as much with his latest disc, New Territories. The UK-based producer presents a steady stream of Dilla-influenced, beats-driven soul, with post-Fantastic drum production forming a sturdy base for the soft tones, punchy bass lines and breezy vocals that flow over top. Lau makes sure to keep his musical co-conspirators busy in the background, dressing his productions with fluttering flute lines, swooshing and twirling atmospherics, warble-ly keys and subtle guitar licks, as on "Time Will Tell” and standout cuts "I Don’t Do It To” and "Don’t Let Them.” The only area where this album slips a bit, aside from a weakness in some noticeably simple and repetitive rhythm sets, is in the vocals, where many of the efforts tend to lack personality and presence, making for the one of the few knocks to Lau’s otherwise sound second outing. (Ubique)