Music Review: “Our Nest Vol.1” via Earnest Endeavours

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Imagine if you will a steaming soup made with a plethora of drastically varying ingredients sourced from opposite sides of the earth, bonded together by a chef with a keen eye for complimenting textures, aromas and flavors; now imagine having a taste of this expertly brewed but heavily seasoned metaphorical soup.

You have just tasted Earnest Endeavours' first compilation Our Nest Vol.1.

Earnest Endeavours is a label that has been exciting me of late and that excitement has come full circle with the recent release of Our Nest Vol.1. It’s the definitive showcase of the talent on the label and the ranging influences and geographical locations covered in this shape shifting 11-track collection of unreleased material.

The compilation consists of carefully curated tracks from the better known artists on the roster like Cardiff-based beathsmiths Darkhouse Fam, South-London rappers and producers The Insomniax, Detroit-based rapper Self Says and the experimental hip-hop group Widows—formerly known as Brother Reade.

Among those formidable players sits other lesser known but equally challenging artists on the EE roster such as San Francisco funk and boogie producer B Bravo and cosmic jammer from Japan, MFP.

All the artists on the label have a certain level of quirkiness that I’m failing to find anywhere else at the moment. In fact it seems like the whole label operates off a completely different vibe than your average indie label. Their ethos of artistic integrity shines through like a beam of light in a dank cavern, demonstrated by them canning a recent mix that was to be played on Gilles Peterson’s worldwide show—usually a golden ticket for recognition, but a ticket that was nonchalantly thrown away because the mix “just didn’t feel right.”

This kind of attitude warms my heart and comforts me with the fact that the music industry hasn’t entirely gone to hell. The label has clearly put the music before profit and that comes through in the quality of the tracks and the experimental approach too many contemporary genres from bass heavy to funky to hip hop and even grime.

All of genres are taken on headfirst but with a completely different approach, as opposed to making music tailored to be attractive to the masses. The takes on the said genres are done with a dash of spontaneity and sincerity that often escapes most modern music.

The album is full of bangers from Darkhouse Fam’s jumpy and energetic “Frosted Flakes” to The Insomniacs subtly crude “I Saw Her” all the way trough to MFP’s electronic space odyssey “Light-Minded” and Widows effortless flowing rhyme fest “Live Like Lions.”

Needless to say I’m excited about the future of this organic, unique and boarder-less record label. If Our Nest is anything to go by, I can only giddily anticipate over what innovative and unique musicians are going to launch their careers off this innovative imprint in the years to come.