Eli Brown has hit just about every pillar in the underground electronic world. Viva Music, Toolroom Records, Repopulate Mars, Unsound Mind – the list goes on, filled with labels giving the Bristol-based artist nods of approval, many combined with some of his contemporaries at the head of these labels as well. But while his hometown has become synonymous with house artists pulling themselves up by their bootstraps out of their garage with gritty, uniquely UK beats, Eli Brown has made a sound all his own. His mix for us at EARMILK is timed with his latest EP, Kingston Crunch, was released at the end of March via Solardo's Sola Records, furthers those efforts with a world music-infused duo of peak time tracks.
>While Bristol is known for the electronic talent it has bred over the past few decades, Eli Brown's story brings color to that singular story. Growing up in a musical household – one where instruments weren't necessarily played, but music was always encouraged to be something to explore and collect – Brown had a connection to it early on. Motown, soul and Michael Jackson were family favorites, and Brown's love for electronic music began early on too. From 10, his older siblings gave him rave tapes to solidify his love for dance music. "I can remember being on holiday in the states one year and we were in a music store, [my dad] picked the Chemical brothers first album, A Long Way home and bought it for me, that was definitely one of the turning points that really got me into dance music."
After getting his first set of old Gemini turntables at 15, Brown played his first club show the next year, kicking off the beginning of years of spinning in clubs, and eventually, making his own music. As it is for so many aspiring artists, it took some time for his music to get off the ground and become a full time gig. Now, he's seen the electronic world evolve from a segmented one, where people would attach themselves to one genre only – drum and bass, house, techno, and so on – to a world where a diversity in tastes and preferences is welcomed. Specifically, Brown welcomes this himself as an artist who uses a multitude of sound and styles to influence his music and make his sample library.
"It took me a good 5 or so years of DJing every weekend, making tunes and night and working in an office in the day, before I could actually pack in the day job."
">Outside of the release of Kingston Crunch, Eli Brown has more releases in the pipeline. Another EP on Lee Foss's Repopulate Mars and remixes for artists like Tchami are on the way for 2018.