Sometimes, the best labels are not those giants that provide an unwavering stream of thrills, but boutique outfits who only surface once or twice a year. Malmö’s Geography Records, for example. Yep, the very same Geography who released Julius Steinhoff’s superb Out in the Woods EP last year. Though the imprint opened back in 2010, the Eighties Children EP is just its fourth record, and comes courtesy of two locals, Johannes Kjellgren and Patrik Andersson. The former is a disco enthusiast, and the latter a hip-hop producer. The mid-point their debut charts between these two styles is almost comically exact. It’s rife with hip-hop-style samples wrapped carefully in ritzy melodies.
“U Know, U Know” is super jaunty, using brass stabs and infectious vocal snippets to good effect. In the mid-section, an equally buoyant 303 joins the fray. If you think you’ve heard every mood the classic machine can create, think again. This one sounds like a neon worm dancing its ass off. The whole thing — cheeky acid crossed with hip-hop — is terribly reminiscent of Uncanny Valley, a label which seems infested by former hip-hop heads. “Reality Begins” throws a little more to house, swapping the acid line out for meandering electric piano and strings. It’s just as dependent on catchy vocals, however, leaving the instrumental “What About Our Weekend Adam?” to complete the transformation. With its impossibly crisp synth swells, this final track recalls the aforementioned Steinhoff EP. Each time it feels like there’s no more room for warmth, the duo plow on, finding room for mellifluous chimes, or the barest traces of sax. And the bass line is to die for. Andrés’ New For U may be leading the polls for best house record this year, but Eighties Children is a serious contender.