With an uncompromising focus on House and Techno, Eye Shadow is a label set up to showcase artists with a link to the North East of England. Run by The Cleer Consortium, the label aims to bring a spotlight over Newcastle Upon Tyne and the surrounding postcodes of Middlesbrough to Sunderland and beyond.
The Cleer Consortium met through the Cleer club nights, which inspired the collective to start a label and collaborate in the studio. Consisting of Suade, Clarke Sawkill, William Welt, and Binni, the four each bring something different to the table.
Suade is a respected mastering engineer and in 2011 collaborated with Magda on their track titled “Fixation.” Clarke Sawkill is a man of many pseudonyms and his music has been included on a Global Underground compilation amongst other achievements, but in 2014 he decided to start working under his real name for a series of vinyl only releases. William Welt runs two other imprints and boasts releases on labels including Traum Schallplatten. Binni is the founder of the Cleer club night which bought the four together and gave people like Steffi (Ostgut Ton) and Click Box (Minus) their North East debut.
The first release focused in on The Cleer Consortium themselves with four tracks made collectively by the group. This second EP also features four tracks, each one a collaboration with The Cleer Consortium and another artist with routes in the North East’s underground music scene. Not all members of The Cleer Consortium where involved in each track. But all had an input into the A&R of selecting the final four tracks for the EP, as there where others that didn’t make the cut.
First up is a collaboration with Carl Handley aka Ruthit who is originally from Darlington, but currently resides in Manchester. Carl is close friends with William Welt aka Will Reed and their track titled “Liquid Debris” is deep techno with a stripped back sound and strong dub influences. Carl took the hot seat and led the track’s production, but William’s influence can definitely be felt in its dark undertones and unusual groove.
The second track is a collaboration with Jason Wright who is originally from Northumberland. Affectionately described as a Techno Hippie, Jason regularly throws illegal forest raves and warehouse parties with a criminal record to prove it. With a love for Ricardo Villalobos and all things analogue, his track titled “Sliding Door” was brought to life with Suade’s bass line and William Welt’s quirky production techniques. Deep and experimental sliding door is a mechanical electronica full of sliding rhythms.
Track three introduces the man of many pseudonyms Clarke Sawkill, along with Steve Legget on their track “Life Line.” Steve has been involved in the Newcastle club scene since the early 90’s and like Clarke is a man of many names, with perhaps his most successful being his ambient focused Four Hands alias. Their track was originally based on field recordings and an Isaac Hayes vocal sample, but with the help of Suade it got twisted into a dark and dancefloor focused slice of Minimal Techno.
The fourth and final track introduces Matthew Sogorski better known to his friends as Soggy. Based in Newcastle, Matthew is a close friend to a number of The Cleer Consortium, and makes his first ever release on this EP, with a track titled “Panic Attack.” Matthew’s original loop was transformed by William Welt, who recording himself whispering into a microphone. Williams’s vocal added some creepy vibes to the already dark and tense track. One of the first tracks started for the EP it was the last to get finish, as the group felt it lacked that little extra something. Having already started a second track in preparation of walking away from this one, it was Suade who once again came to the rescue. Blowing the dust off his TB303 for some analogue knob tweaking, Suade worked in some serious Acid, turning the track into a distinctively individual bit of sinister Techno.