This is something I’ve been thinking about writing for a while now. Every time I start, I can’t get past the first few lines but now I have a reason to follow through. On December 5th 2012, Ewan Robertson AKA Offshore died while undergoing heart surgery for treatment of Marfan Syndrome*. Whenever anyone dies it’s sad but Robertson's death was totally unexpected and the shock took a while to get over. He was a gifted graphic designer, musician and his critically acclaimed debut album Bake Haus had been out less than a month on Big Dada Records.
Two and a half years later, Big Dada have announced the release of the Robertson’s follow-up Offshore release. It was rumoured that Robertson had started working on a follow-up at the time of his death and Big Dada have confirmed that “the tracks were all more or less completed before his death in 2012”. With the help of Robertson’s family and partner, Big Dada have pieced the album together and it will be released on 14th August. While no-one can be 100% sure if this album is what Robertson originally intended to release, it’s as close to that vision that can be achieved now. Artists including Ikonika, Amon Tobin, Blue Daisy, Slugabed, Mamiko Moto, Lockah and Enchante have all contributed remixes for the project.
Lead single 'Off Peak' is classic Offshore. As with most of his output it bustles with tight beats, laid back basslines and melodic loops. It’s not as in your face as his early Disboot and Stuff releases, nor as bouncy as his Big Dada EPs and album, but instead it contains elements of beauty, tender flourishes of warmth and compassion, hitherto missing in his work. Ultimately it can only hint at what might have been, yet celebrates his rare and erudite talent.
All proceeds from Offshore are going to the Marfan Trust at his family's behest.
*Marfan’s is a disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue.