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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ERIC G: Piezolake (2019)

Updated: Apr 3, 2021

“This is an album of Cosmic Rock that should appeal to fans of Jean-Michel Jarre, Space Art and Thierry Fervant”

1 Drain of Methane 6:48

2 Piezo 2:57

3 Thoughts Around the Sun 13:21

4 Crystal Pines 5:02

5 Sophona 8:45

6 Time - Space 11:40

7 Desert Flyer (Moonmusik 3) 7:48

(DDL 56:25) (V.F.)

(Cosmic Rock, French School)

Let yourself be carried away and then dream on tunes, on structures of electronic rock as imagined by the pioneers of the French School. These are the feelings that will give you this last opus of the Swedish synthesist. Like Nophicord, PIEZOLAKE is a collection of titles composed and recorded on cassette tapes between 82 and 83. At the time, the instruments and recording techniques of Erik G were rudimentary. So, he redid everything from scratch! He replayed his music with his today's stuff and recorded, mixed and mastered with advanced equipment that meet the technology of nowadays. The result gives an album that is more carried by panoramas of cosmic ambiances of analog years. Except that here, the titles are short and offer little space to evolve in interstellar corridors full of twists. I would say it's an album dedicated to fans of the Swedish musician for whom the cosmic rock of the French School has no secrets.

A jet of vibrations, cosmic effects and caramelized arpeggios is propelled, creating waves and eddies in the opening of Drain of Methane. A synth raises a solo chant whose harmonic acuity is patrolled by cosmic noises and mired by dull impulses that shake the back of the setting. The sequencer structures a docile rhythm that hobbles under the nebulous songs of the synth which remains rich of its cosmic decoration, even if murmurs brings us back to a form of reality. The sequencer is more daring around 4 minutes, releasing sequences whose oscillations more vivid and faster unbalance a rhythm that struggles with its 2 very opposite structures that serves the cause of the synth and its initial chants. Analog instruments and digital synths work with a nice complicity in this title, as well as in Sophona which is a little in the same genre with harmonious synths. Everything, apart from the short electronic rock Piezo which is accompanied by a melody weaver of earworm for the toddlers of the heart, is made on the basis of improvisation sessions in PIEZOLAKE. The structures are thus evolutionary with rhythms inserted between phases of cosmic ambiances.

This is the essence of Thoughts Around the Sun which, after an introduction of astral nebulosity and synth sibilant solos, succumbs to a cosmic rock of the analog years. A mix of Klaus Schulze, for the sequenced drums, of Space Art, for the harmonious solos, and Tangerine Dream, for the sequences, this rhythm, which even hangs voice effects à la Juno Reactor, is quite catchy and its interruption, at around 7 minutes, was not desirable. The moods that follow are of ether, à la Schulze, and leave little room for a useless resurrection of the rhythm. PIEZOLAKE is a distant place in the imagination of Erik G. It's a lake crystallized by the coldness of the northern winter which is lost in the mountainsides. It could also be Crystal Pines which is a title of winter atmospheres with ice cubes that freeze when falling from the sky and pearls that dance like flakes and muddle the natural scenery that is lost on the horizon. A bit like the cover of the album. Time - Space is a long ambient track with synth layers and pads floating with the desire to give us chills. Those who remember the beautiful orchestral introduction of the title track of Software's Electronic Universe 2 will be in familiar ground here. Only the voices are missing, and everything is there! Desert Flyer (Moonmusik 3) offers PIEZOLAKE's fastest rhythm structure. After 2 minutes of reverberant effects, the rhythm comes from small chopsticks emerging from the guttural fog. A band of oscillations and sparkling arpeggios unite a rhythmic vision, supported by rattling, which dances and hops under a cloud of threatening strata and equally enchanting solos.

A music of the past with an almost contemporary vision, PIEZOLAKE has managed to keep the cachet of the old rhythms of the 70's-80's. I would not say that it's a must, but it's an album that should appeal to fans of Jean-Michel Jarre, Space Art and Thierry Fervant. French musicians who managed to bring the French School to the rank that we know nowadays.

Sylvain Lupari (June 7th, 2019) *****

Available at Eric G's Bandcamp

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