Tonight was one of the best nights I’ve had in a very long time and I feel that sharing it with you and FINALLY updating the blog is probably the best way to keep celebrating. I won’t go into too many details about the reasons why I have been M.I.A. for so long but let’s just say that one of them was a general lack of inspiration and motivation. You know, shit happens (excuse my French). Tonight though, I feel a renewed sense of belonging, a revived faith in the power of music and desire to share it through my words. It all started with a long overdue meet-up with my Word Is Bond family before the gig. Obviously you don’t really care about my personal life, but all I wanted to say is that it was a breath of fresh air for my mind and everyone’s motivation and excitation was contagious. It’s difficult to feel down and idle when you are surrounded by people who are so active and enthusiastic about what they do. They reminded me about myself when I started the blog and I finally got a glimpse of hope, reminding me that everything was still there, waiting for me to be ready again. The time has come, ladies and gentlemen, and I couldn’t be happier about it! More
I know this is not brand-new and you probably heard about it already, but I’m sure you’re eager to read what I have to say about it. Right?! Ok, so I’ve been following Eric Lau and his releases for a little while and I really appreciate his production. It is therefore always a pleasure to hear he has a new project out. I was also fortunate enough to interview the London-based producer for Word Is Bond a couple of months ago and he had very interesting things to say. With The Mission EP, Eric Lau teams up once again with Guilty Simpson, after a first collaboration on For The D back in 2007 and I have to admit the two of them form a winning team and obviously enjoy working together. The combination of the MC’s voice and the producer’s music may leave some skeptical on paper, but the EP proves that it actually works extremely well and they complement each other perfectly. Coming back to hip-hop production but sprinkling it with touches of soul, jazz and funk, Eric Lau proves his versatility and the extent of his talent. To make the project complete, he added the incredibly beautiful voices of Fatima and Olivier Daysoul, that make some of the tracks slightly emotional and enchanted my ears, as well as the skills of musicians Chris “Daddy” Dave, Alex Bonfanti and Damu The Fudgemunk.
I have to admit it’s not ‘brand-new’ but I have a very strong tendency to get side-tracked and overwhelmed, which results in my posting absolute gems a little while after they were released. I hope you, Eric Lau and Kilawatt won’t be mad at me though, because as I have to say regularly, ‘better late than never’. Right? Right! So, I discovered Eric Lau’s music quite late, if we consider all his previous releases, but I quickly became a fan and am now following his work quite closely. After the very interesting Kilawatt: V2 EP and his previous album Makin’ Sound, Eric Lau is back with an incredible sonic exploration, entitled Quadrivium. Based on a book dealing with the correlation between geometry and arts, this new project has a slightly different sound than Eric’s previous endeavours and this is a much welcome shift, as it is a confirmation of the producer’s talent and ability to always develop new skills, to experiment with his music. Twenty tracks add up to create the overall atmosphere, taking us on an aural and emotional journey to different dimensions. I always say that music has a very strong power to make you drift away and escape from reality but some albums underline this element even more, which is indeed the case with Quadrivium.
From the very first notes of Star Trekking to the very last ones of 4U, Eric Lau makes us travel through different moods, genres and emotions, always creating very interesting patterns and using many different instruments to produce the desired effect. This is one of the things I appreciate most with this album, this ability to add many tiny details without making the tracks sound too heavy or all over the place. Piano, synths, guitars, flutes, percussions, glockenspiel, violins, the list of instruments used on every track is quite eclectic and all those combine perfectly to create a sound that is quite original and innovative. There are many tracks that I absolutely love, for the purity and beauty of the notes and melodies, as well as for the emotions they are filled with and I will mention a few, which I find quite amazing. In Paradise sounds perfect to my ears and the title really fits this incredible, very emotional track, which enchanted me with the warm sounds of the piano, violins and flute. Orchid, with its hypnotic guitar loop and beautiful keys really took me to another dimension. Vu Ja De, with its delicate piano and chilled vibe, is the definition of feel-good music. Lzy, with the warm and smooth jazz and soul elements really has a late night kind of vibe to it. Finally, 4U sounds like the perfect conclusion to this project, with its heartfelt dimension and mesmerising piano, which make you want to have a special someone to dedicate it to. All I need to add now is that Quadrivium is a must in any music lover’s collection out there and that it will most probably get you caught you up in the same way it did for me.
To tell you more about the concept behind this album, I’ll let Eric Lau himself talk, with this very interesting video, where he shares some great ideas and insight.
And you can now stream and buy the album on Kilawatt’s Bandcamp or simply by clicking on the link below. The album is also available on vinyl through hhv.de and Access Hip-Hop. Enjoy the journey, support and spread the word!