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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ERIC G: Nightlights (2021)

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

Nightlights has everything a Berlin School aficionado could wish for, more particularly that of Tangerine Dream

1 Late Nights' Sounds 23:18

2 Digital Dreams 5:00

3 The Bind Dog 4:13

4 Bridgefeeling 14:33

5 Final 9:52

(DDL 56:57) (V.F.)

(Berlin School)

If you're looking for vintage tones and that 80's vibe, Eric G is a logical destination for those who still haven't heard his music or have heard him distractedly since his meaningful return with the Piezolake album in 2019. NIGHTLIGHTS is one of those old cassettes that he dusted off by updating the sound with today's technology which maintains this verisimilitude with that of 40 years ago. Always offered in downloadable format, here we have the most beautiful album of the Swedish musician. Period!

And it begins with the chirping of nocturnal insects that the long Late Nights' Sounds calls our attention. Distorted voice effects, a bit like those of Jean-Michel Jarre in Magnetic Fields, invite themselves at the same time as the song of the insects transforms into a musical crack on the wall of Cosmos. Layers shiver in this blackness soaked of electronic effects. They find comfort in the sharp singing of the flutes while a dark sound mass takes charge of this cryptic introduction whose electronic side increasingly eats up its space. The 4th minute brings a peaceful synth layer drifting with the vibratory effect of its bass line under chords expressed in tones of different bells. We are a little beyond the 5-minute border when the sequencer throws a line of rhythm which makes its keys dance and alternate in an astral fluidity. The movement is magic! Expressing itself with its shadow under this variety of glass bells, it waits for his bassline to wave in a vision of pure Berlin School. Tones of the 70's perfume this phase of interstellar rhythm which flows in harmony with the synth solos. The modulations of this bass give a warm vintage feel to this floating rhythm which hangs, like a deep scratch on a vinyl, with a sequence hopping on the spot for more than a minute between the 9th and the 10th. Monomania or stifling, this is the way that Eric G has chosen to make evolve Late Nights' Sounds which becomes even more seductive in this phase of undulating rhythm in perfect timing with a Berlin School rolling in a psychedelic universe. We hear misty pads and keyboard riffs like those of Tangerine Dream, as well as these opening voices and especially very beautiful and warm synth solos in a phase where the sequencer releases another line of rhythm. Prismatic effects develop in this long journey where the sequencer again hooks the keys, in a more musical way this time, 8 minutes later, giving more velocity to this structure where all that was missing was the Mellotron and the apocalyptic symphonic solos from the Dream of the Encore years. An excellent title worth the download price. But there is more!

There is a track like Digital Dreams which offers a slow rhythm heavily shaken by percussions in mode; a rub-belly slow dance. The synth lines which pass by are like guitar sighs in an ambience quite close to Green Desert. Dog barks startle us at the opening of The Bind Dog. This joyful track, with a candy-pink innocence, is like a hymn to electronic pop from the 70's. The synth injects a very bucolic fluty air into this beautiful, fascinating and catchy track. Think of Popcorn… that will give you an idea of the concept. Bridgefeeling is another exploratory title proposed like a good Berlin School, like the opening title. Its first 2 minutes belong to the psychedelic visions imagined in the possibilities of the synthesizer. Sounds and cosmic effects nourish their vibratory shadows, while the voices from beyond the grave from the start are coming back deemed the importance of being there. A little fluty phase throws a veil of peace disturbed by these voices, inviting the sequencer to knit a fabulous line of ascending rhythm. The synth deposits its solos in this gyrating movement which invites its bass line to deepen its rhythmic fields. The attraction of this title is its ability to transform while retaining a link that links it to its metamorphoses. So, no matter how much change the EM charms demand, Bridgefeeling still relies on this haunting rhythm going up and down an endless spiral. The synth solos are very pleasant with an Arabic intonation, showing Eric G's vision of coherent instability in working these structures always haloed with excellent synth solos injecting musical morphine. The rhythm ceases with the distorted sound of a gong around the 12th minute, recalling the long introductory course of a title which needs this resource to end its route. Another gem on NIGHTLIGHTS which ends its charms tricks with Final, a title that smacks of Tangerine Dream's 80-81 tour. Here again, the structure needs two minutes or more to bring out a vintage rhythm from the bouncy sequences. The solos are of the symphonic kind and as that was not enough, a second phase of rhythm is detached with the help of the keyboard, constantly recalling the ascendant of the German trio on the music of the Swedish who readjusts the rhythm of Final to welcome another rain of synth solo whose tones and perfumes no longer need presentation.

A great album from Eric G, NIGHTLIGHTS has everything a Berlin School aficionado could wish for, more particularly that of Tangerine Dream. I can't add anything more!

Sylvain Lupari (April 03rd, 2021) ****½*

Available at Eric G Bandcamp

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