Eric Lau’s debut solo album New Territories is a discovery I made on Emusic. I stumbled upon it and haven’t stopped listening since. Recently released on Ubiquity Records, New Territories is an excellent progressive soul album. Lau’s hip-hop influenced beats and funky, soulful production are the mainstay of the album which features several guest vocalists, all of whom are unknown to me – Tawiah, Rahel, Sarina Leah, Meshach Brown.
Despite the variety of vocalists, the album doesn’t lose any cohesion. Lau provides the common thread, collaborating on writing credits with the various singers, and handling production. He has his own spin on progressive soul, incorporating strong melodies with spacious beats, snares that have the snap of 2-step, just the right amount of both funk and futurism, and of course always a healthy bottom-end.
Lau, of English-Chinese descent, might seem like he’s just appeared out of nowhere, but his production history includes the likes of Lupe Fiasco, Dudley Perkins, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Guilty Simpson, Wildchild, Tanya Morgan, Hil St Soul and others.
Standout tracks for me include “I Don’t Do It To”, “Let It Out” and “Don’t Let Them” although there is no filler in this collection at all. Simply a brilliant album that will have you captivated from start to finish.
Lau’s sound also translates well to a live setting, as demonstrated in a series of YouTube videos of a live set at London’s Deviation. Here’s the first of about eight parts, to be found at Ubiquity’s YouTube channel