In a recent interview with FACT Lee Gamble elaborated on the underlying theory behind his celebrated record Diversions 1994-1996: “You know sometimes when you go to bed in the morning after a rave and you can ‘hear’ music in your head? Most of the time it’s a fragment or a rhythm or a phrase. Often you aren’t sure whether you’re making it up, or whether you’re replaying something from the night. Neurologically, these are called ‘release hallucinations’. When your brain is starved of a source of stimulation it has become accustomed to, it can start introducing memories (in this case musical ones). The brain wants to stay active and when it’s starved of this input it can create a hallucination.” “Eah”, the debut release from U, occupies the same headspace. It arrives on a hand-stamped 10″ from George Fitzgerald’s Man Make Music, a label know for intricate garage excursions, but unlike its peers Eah is more suited for the hours after the club, than the ones before or during. That being said, the latter experience can’t exist without the former. It’s the sort of record you throw on while you’re peeling off your sweaty clothes and coming down from the evening’s highs.
The title track “Eah” only hints at a club banger. Maybe it was one in another life, but now it is distant and half-remembered. “Evil Spirits” applies the same cloak, but to a languid garage shuffler instead. If the A-side is about anthems recalled, then the B-side resurrects R&B vocals. While the sample that forms the backbone of “Haunted” is sourced from a Billboard #1, the verse it uses can only be found in an acapella that didn’t make it past the maxi single. Likewise “Heaven” scatters the voice of a one hit wonder over chalky breakbeats. Alone, these tracks read as vingnettes, with only “Eah” crossing the three minute mark, but together they construct a sort of forced nostalgia. We may not have raved to these tunes back in ’92, but now we feel like we did.
Stream: U – Eah EP (Man Make Music)