I’ve always considered a certain level of anonymity an important quality among the musicians I tend to lionize. Not to say I expect a musician to release LP after LP under different pseudonyms, or drop mysterious white-label 12-inch vinyl as a career’s worth of output, but there’s a certain modesty and focus on the music that comes from not promoting the shit out of yourself.

Brooklyn’s E’s E and Oneman have been clandestinely doing their thing for a long time in the borough of Kings. Not that my radar is that particularly sensitive to each and every blip on the underground scene here, but I was truly surprised when Aaron passed me their first release as Midnight Lab Band and it immediately blew me away. “How could I not know about this shit, when it’s being done right here in my backyard?” My guess is that the secret bunker lab that these guys work their sonic experiments in is somehow off the grid.

Mixing the very best of eclectic 90’s-era UK downtempo (think Pork, Ninja, Grand Central, etc.) with the optimistic, earthy production reminiscent of Motown and the NYC grittiness ala Premiere or the RZA , the duo’s music is clearly a result of an unfettered love of everything funky — hip hop, soul, afrobeat, downtempo, funk, classics, etc. There’s an attention to detail that similar producers tend to overlook, as if the pair really do throw on the white lab coats and sit in front of their equipment like scientists until the formula is just right. And after listening to “The Forgotten Chant” there’s no doubt you’ll agree that Midnight Lab Band are dropping the science. Class is in session.

RIYL: Greenwood Rhythm Coalition, Nightmares on Wax, 4 Hero, Statik Sound System, Jugoe, Kruder & Dorfmeister

Names You Can Trust
Turntable Lab