Soul Flow of Eric Lau


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Hip-Hop and Neo-Soul go hand in hand, with the ability to disguise each other in their fusion, or distinctly flow together as a perfect duo. Something about the MPC’s instruments emulates the sounds of the drums and cymbals so well, that both instruments could be mistaken for one another at some points.

Another prospect about the two genres is the historical context. Both genres were manifest from the power movements procreated by African-American culture. With such power brings upon such vibrancy and life within their musical patterns.

Soul music, being the assuager of the culture, allowed Hip-Hop’s initially aggressive nature to find its place with peace. The two genres construed together made up for an accommodating agreement. Soul music healed the anger of Hip-Hop music and understood its talent for the greater good.

The result of this agreement was years of artists such as Bilal, Erykah Badu, J Dilla, and D’Angelo. Among the few greats, another figure laid low in the turn of the century. Releasing project after project since 2011, London R&B and Hip-Hop producer Eric Lau is slowly and surely becoming a household name within the “Soul Hop” scene.

Lau’s style derives from the likes of Badu and D’Angelo but makes more use of the MPC’s potential than both artists typically do. Lau will conduct the chemistry behind the beat, as he allows his lyrical affiliates to add wisdom and life to his cook-up.

Lyricists in the forefront of his beats include rapper Guilty Simpson, rapper Oddisee, and the angel of Soul, Georgia Anne Muldrow. Most of the time, it’s his hand that’s shown. His beats range with different tonalities and aural vignettes, but for the most part, it’s music for healing.

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Lau’s hand extends the flow of the soul within his craft. The song Here, which features R&B singer Fatima, involves the flowing grooves of smooth chords and perfectly tuned snares. Matched with Fatima’s infatuating poetry, the song increments into a melodic track meant to be played in late nights and sun sets near the hillside.

His recent album, Examples Vol. 2, is the recent addition to his book of recipes. The beats here are all his touches alone, without the spoken supplements. It’s sample-heavy with fresh, shiny grooves and light-hearted repeats.

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The beat Do You Like Music? involves a sampled guitar line, accentuated by a hypnotic drum pattern and light-hearted dialogue from various and obscure films. As this track is influenced more by the older styles of J Dilla, tracks such as Favourite Truth goes back to Lau’s soul-heavy instrumentals.

The main reason his music works as a whole is that they act like tributes to the newer and older forms of Neo-Soul. Added by his MPC, his beats love to involve piano chords and soothing samples that allow his tracks to ooze with grace.

Eric Lau has been showcasing his talent for years. It is nearly sacrilege that at this point, he still isn’t as heavily known as the likes of the Neo-Soul group, The Internet, or Hip-Hop sample martyr Knxwledge.

As long as the scene continues to cultivate medicine for the spirit, Eric Lau continues to show promise to aid the scene along the way.

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