ERIC G: Network (2021)
Updated: Dec 3, 2021
“Fans of Tangerine Dream's early albums will be filled of happiness here”
1 MUX System 3A 20:53
2 EF 1:47
3 Sleepclouds 10:40
4 Sweepvoices 10:38
(DDL 44:00) (V.F.)
(Vintage Berlin School)
NETWORK is the new album that Eric G has extracted from his 1983's vaults.
And it's in a start full of voice effects and electronic psychedelia that MUX System 3A invades my listening room. The first falling chords are synth pads full of a resonance that binds them in a shimmering layer. A first rhythm sequence invites itself by sticking two successive lines of 5 keys, like the Berlin School ascending rhythms. Repetitive over a period barely exceeding 30 seconds, this first rhythmic vision ignites a sequencer which puts down a second rhythmic structure. Both give us a very good cosmic rock well sprinkled with juicy synth solos having a vintage tone. Seductive Arabian harmonies stand out from these solos, giving that pleasant sonic patchouli scents to a setting scratched by the passing of shooting stars. It's at the dawn of the 5th minute that a layer of bass comes to pad the structure seduced by cymbal rattles. The phase changes are the strength of MUX System 3A and are achieved through subtle changes in chords, such as in scales and/or in harmonic fluctuations. The sonic texture of the synth solos is another element that significantly modifies the atmospheric mutations of this long track with a strong Tangerine Dream influence. Inspiring, the mellotron invades the structure in the middle of the track which has regained the rhythmic floating of its opening. In the flow of these quite exquisite mutations, the track reaches its first atmospheric bridge in the middle of its 10th minute. Here again, we wade into the sonic experimentations of Tangerine Dream's first albums on Virgin. The essences of Phaedra and Rubycon fill the ears with happiness. Heavy and resonant chords are sequenced in half circles some 90 seconds later. The tone resonates in front of a veil of fog, adding more to this vintage pleasure. Another rhythm line completes this 2nd part of MUX System 3A which is centered on a stationary electronic rock before the track deviates to a long atmospheric phase, filled with that mythical mellotron fog. An excellent track that is worth every second of it.
It's the opposite with what follows! I'll quickly pass on the short EF, a crazy track with an excessively robotic rhythm that serves as a base for whispered vocal effects in accordance with the rhythm pace. Speed and modulation included! Sleepclouds offers a pleasant atmospheric opening, quite ethereal. Rainfalls accompany the opening death chant majestically orchestrated by the mellotron. When the rain disappears, the tonal fauna draws from the alchemy of sounds to produce a huge wall where twists and gurgles compose the essential of a musical direction centered on albums such as Phaedra and Rubycon. Sweepvoices completes NETWORK with an atmospheric phase focused on vocal effects.
Once again, Eric G takes us into the meanders of his vaults with an album that may leave some listeners perplexed. First of all, MUX System 3A is well worth the price of the download. You have to appreciate the mellotron, but also the many vocal effects that obscure some points or entire sections of NETWORK, to fully appreciate this album from start to finish. It is feasible and the fans of the Peter Baumann era of Tangerine Dream will be filled of happiness with this last find of the Swedish synthesist.
Sylvain Lupari (December 2nd, 2021) ***½**
Available at Eric G Bandcamp