Fatima Bramme Sey is a London based vocalist, who’s been a big part of the Eglo Records family since releasing the Mindtravelin EP back in 2010. Since then she’s been putting out quality soulful music across a mix of genres that’s as varied as her first class choice of collaborations (Floating Points, DVA, Dam-Funk and FunkinEven for starters). By combining her beautiful vocal skills with some of the more forward thinking producers in dance music (see DVA’s Just Vybe on Hyperdub), she’s doing promising things. This modern take on soul music is genuinely unchartered and exciting ground, it’s no Jessie Ware meets Julio Bashmore.
I first got into Fatima’s stuff through the Floating Points produced “Follow You” EP which is just the kind of bumbling, spaced out, jazzy perfection in production that you might expect from Mr Shepherd. It’s also such a pleasure to see him turn his hand to what are essentially hip hop beats in the songs “Mind” and “Cinnamon” on the A-side, as opposed to the (excellent) shuffling, ambient deep house that he normally puts out. In “Mind” the resonant jazz piano perfectly underpins her effortless free flowing vocal meanders. And those snares and highs, that take me back to Erykah Badu’s Mama’s Gun, are just on point.
That’s not say that the quality of B-side should suffer for its change of pace, the production of the masterful “Red Light” is so reminiscent of Floating Points’ own “Shadows EP”, which still holds strong for me as the standout release of 2011: ARP3 in a club at the right time, or Myrtle Avenue (in which Fatima also coincidentally cameos) for an afterparty are just unbeatable. Nor does the increased BPM detract from the sedative beauty of what comes before, but those shuffling, constant drums, that drive the song forwards in the way only Theo Parrish knows how, have the power to make your foot tap and your head nod. It’s a really fantastic tune that after a couple of listens presents itself as the EP’s calling card. She has recently been performing a live version of it with some other musicians as “The Eglo Live Band”, watch the boiler room below, serious good vibes.
More recently there’s the Phone Line EP with FunkinEven. The title track jitters with fuzzy MPC synth stabs, seeing her move to more of a quick fire lyrical style, while “West 2 East” is a 80’s summery funk explosion that seamlessly flits between contrasting rhythmic flows; we’re talking cowbell’s, bass drums and a clattering of crisp claps to name a few.
She’s signed up to do a full album on Eglo due out sometime this year, which is definitely something to look out for. There’s not a lot of info out there regarding it as yet, but I’d expect more collaborations with Floating Points and other members of the Eglo crew (maybe FunkinEven again?), even something with Dam-Funk could be on the cards, but also some fresh partnerships which should allow for some interesting new beats. In the meantime have a browse through this back catalogue and show support by buying the music if it’s doing things for you.