What comes after pink, blue and green? Well according to Eskimo Recordings it is orange... And so they follow up The Green Collection with this new offering, The Orange Collection - the fourth entry in their colour and emotion inspired series.
As my previous coverage of these releases highlights my feelings on these albums have been mixed. Yet I still find it hard to resist giving each new entry a listen, if only out of some desire to recapture some of the glittering brilliance of Eskimo's earlier compilations. The Orange Collection does its best to return your effort in listening to it. Unlike the other entries, which usually felt no real connection to the colour in question, entitling this The Orange Collection makes sense. It's warm, sitting on the edge of sunset... Though whether this is a deliberate refinement of focus or a happy coincidence is up for debate. Perhaps Eskimo simply got around to picking one of the most Balearic of colours
Eskimo has retained its latter-day fondness for soft electronics and indie vocals but in contrast to previous entries this album feels as Mediterranean influenced as it does Scandinavian, conjuring the feeling of beaches and beachside swimming pools.
It is therefore fitting then that opening track Odds Are Good by Anoraak feels exactly like a dip in a pool out in the sun. Renegades, by Majestique feat. Lakshmi, is similarly sunny... Warm pads and synth stabs creating an infectious and wistful sense, almost like missing the holiday before it has even ended. Like most things here it is almost shockingly polished, but that adds to the perfect summer holiday feeling.
Hold It Like You Own It by Horixon and Maya is a glittering moment of electronic pop - a powerful vocal hook riding a deep sine wave baseline. The album also features two tracks I've featured recently - Du Tonc's Animals and This Soft Machine's On & On - and both feel right at home here in this set.
Amongst all the shimmering pop are some more wonky moments. Moscoman's Fernandez is a hit of Italo-influenced dub that sounds like it soundtracks your weirdest cowboy dreams... Drums clatter as a stark lone guitar riff picks its way amidst a world of synth-kitsch. Elsewhere Marvin and Guy's Unfailling Fall is a deep psychedelic trip, a stark contrast to the lighter moments that make up most of this album.
Closing with the Mees Dierdorp remix of Hydrogen Sea's Wear Out, The Orange Collection comes grinding to a dramatic stop. Synthetic strings swirl and vocals cry out as the album draws to a emotional yet somewhat muted finish. It is by far the best entry in this series yet, and the best album from Eskimo in some time. It is hard not to think this may just be good luck - a number of artists here have featured on previous entries after all - but perhaps they just managed to do a much better job curating the collection this time. Either way, take this with you to the pool this summer and you are guaranteed just a little warmth, no matter the weather.
The Orange Collection is released through Eskimo Recordings on 4 May. Pre-order on iTunes here [affiliate link].