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Eric Lau New Territories

All the tags for the music that Londoner Eric Lau makes sound contrived: future funk, nu-soul, beat-head jazz–none of these really captures Lau’s confident, cool essence. Sure, artists like Jay Dee, Waajeed, and SA-RA are Lau’s creative cousins, but the 26-year-old beatmaker blazes his own trails via rich, song-based vocal numbers and sweet, spacious instrumentals. New Territories bubbles with optimism, illustrated on “Time Will Tell,” which is buoyed by Bobbi Humphrey-style flute licks and singer Sariah Leah’s hopeful messages. Lau has produced beats for Lupe Fiasco, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Wildchild, but refreshingly it’s U.K. locals Tawaih, Rahel, and Sariah whose vocals light up his crisp, no-nonsense soul beats.

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