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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ERIC G.: Illusions (2010)

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

Complex, lively, poetic and surprising of crisscrossed rhythms, Illusions is this kind of album which amaze and charm at each listening

1 Mowing the Moon's Grass 23:43

2 Model III 17:33

3 Finally found the Missing Glass Piece 15:04

(DDL 56:19) (V.F.)

(Vintage Berlin School EM)

Nowadays, the warm tones of a Berlin School EM style becomes more and more flooded in an enormous musical cornucopia where technologies and numeric (digital) equipments (Midi and PC Synth, Virus, etc.) strip a bit the nobility of this art finely exploited in the 70's by artists innovative and extremely creative such as Klaus Schulze, Edgar Froese and his cult band Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre as well as Ashra Temple. Today, artists like Ian Boddy, Mark Shreeve, Remy, Marcel Engels, Gert Emmens, Mario Schonwalder and many more are still exploiting this sonority of former days, but with a mixture of new technologies, creating hybrid sonority where soft steams of a retro Berlin School are next to a more technical, more updated tones. A little like Brendan Pollard, Eric G's musical universe soaks in a fabulous world of analog tones, plunging the listener and the nostalgic fan into a forgotten art. With ILLUSIONS, the Swedish synthesist crosses the wall of time to offer a fabulous timeless album where retro Berlin School comes alive again and floods our ears with 3 long and magnificent titles which charm and exceed the threshold of the sound illusion.

Like his first album Conclusion in 2001, ILLUSIONS is made of material written at the beginning of the 80's. And in the middle of the 90's, Eric G replayed and rerecorded his compositions to finally integrate sounds and tones of Minimoog and Mellotron in 2007. A long process and a long maturation that results in 3 long titles with unanticipated rhythms and where sequences become entangled in superb random cadences, supported by synths to analog colors and poetic lines. Divided into two parts Mowing the Moon's Grass introduces this nostalgic feast with a long morphic intro. An intro which opens under spasms of a heavy reverberation, multiplying a full array of warm heterogeneous tones which boil lazily below a rippling synth line. A splendid sound universe of psychedelic nature wakes up slowly under the soft caresses of an old organ and a synth with arid breaths and delicate austere solos. Solos that are twisting of a warm suavity to overfly this sphere of imagination under fine bass lines, molding a beautiful depth which is not without recalling Pink Floyd on Wish you were Here, and whose dark choruses flooded under the caresses of floating Mellotron brushing in the way the gaps of the Dream on Ricochet and Encore. On halfway the first sequential pulsations awake a tempo that beats shyly the measure. It's a hesitating rhythm which moves stealthily, and which is subdivided with the appearance of another more hatched, nervous and slightly funky bass sequenced line. The tempo hiccoughs delicately beneath the mist of a wrapping Mellotron and a hybrid synth with cosmic waves and eroded solos, such as ducks squeals, which merge through this cadence becoming as complex as harmonious before it faints in the intersidereal spheres on a soft ambient blow from a fluty Mellotron. This long track is a very good musical piece which represents splendidly the nostalgic and complex musical world of Eric G.

Those who love the universe of Edgar Froese will be seduced by Model III which also embraces a vaporous intro where the Mellotron draws heavy cosmic fogs from which the cloudy veils undulate lazily in the middle of synth lines, among one which pulses with acuteness. A sequence is waving in cascade and shapes a frenzied rhythm which goes amplifying with the addition of another unbridled sequential line, doubling the impact of the rhythm under an aggressive synth which multiplies its corrosive solos in a magical ambience where synth lines undulate and hiccough in harmony with sequences. It's a maelstrom of synth, sequencer and Mellotron which crosses ambivalent rhythmic spheres before falling on a solitary sequence of which hatched spasms accompany a fluty Mellotron and a synth with caustic harmonies to embrace a soft etherized final. Finally found the Missing Glass Piece shows in which point Eric G's style can be disconcerting. After a surprising introduction which belongs to the cosmic-poetic universe of Klaus Schulze (the Body Love years), percussions tint of glasses are introducing a rhythm which gets free at dropper on nervous cymbals. The sequential move is amplifying with heavier and more nervous chords, forming a flow which undulates restlessly with keys which float in solitary around a synth and its sinuous solos. Like on the first 2 tracks the rhythm is becoming more complex and tortuous to finally calm down underneath keyboards chords à la Pink Floyd on Animals before resuming on a tempo splendidly drawn by synth loops and heavy resounding sequences which pound loudly under the anvil tones percussions à la Jean-Michel Jarre. Percussions which are ending this tergiversating rhythmic, creating a heavy tempo of which the unbridled knocks are rolling beneath some long serpentines solos to caress the beginnings of an analog sound world.

Complex, lively, poetic and surprising of crisscrossed rhythms; such are the first qualifiers that come to mind to describe this Eric G's latest opus. ILLUSIONS is this kind of album rich in electronic tones which overlap both universes rich in rhythms, as increasing as decreasing, which amaze and charm at each listening. There are, here and there, superb sonic elements that make of this album an inescapable for fans of this era, at once electronic and progressive, which filled our 70's listening hours. It's more than a simple imitation of Klaus Schulze or Edgar Froese. It's a wonderful meshing of two musical ideologies of a circa rich in innovations and sound creativities. An excellent album!

Sylvain Lupari (July 17th, 2010) ****¼*

Available at Eric G Bandcamp

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