Textured and pulsating with the kind of subtle physicality the best nightclub tracks tend to contain, saying that the song “Open Your Heart” has an edge above the competition might not be doing it justice, but that said, the same goes for most of the tracklist contained in Esglo’s new album Poetic Trance this season.
Although stylized as a traditional LP, Poetic Trance plays out like a cohesive piece of material merely broken into a dozen different movements for the sake of the audience’s ability to cherry-pick their favorite moments. In songs like “Open Your Heart,” the rather balladic but undyingly urgent “My One Devotion,” and the cathartic runner “Mirage,” rhythm and rhyme are essentially one and the same, embodying the emotionality of Esglo whilst hinting at a desire to open up even more than he is here. There’s a lot of teasing in this record – ambitions, experimentations, and even a hint of conceptualism – but never a moment in which it seems like our leading man isn’t sure where to go with the aesthetic he’s exploiting next. He’s confident and on top of the creative structure here, and that’s putting it quite mildly indeed.
“Mirage” and “One More Try” sport much of the same melodic ribbonry, but their foundations are distinctly different in that the latter has almost no audible bass nudging its groove forward. One of the more intriguing elements to behold in Poetic Trance is the lack of bottom-end dominance, which has been the popular theme for the better part of the last five years or so. Esglo simply doesn’t need a fat bassline to give us a hard chill factor in “First True Love of Mine,” the self-explanatory “Dreamstate,” tingling “With Open Arms,” or even the aforementioned “Open Your Heart,” which has about the heaviest backside of any track here.
To me, the compositional genius of a song like “Take My by the Hand” is that it doesn’t have to rely on a fanciful execution to get us really pumped up; it’s all-natural, and in the best possible manner. These are eclectic times in electronic music – even more so than the standard would call for – but Esglo is an artist who most definitely knows what he wants to create and who he wants to create it for.
Between the forced gloss on “Distant Heart,” juggernaut emotion behind “Here and Now,” and the pained thrust of the percussion in “Your Eyes,” my gut tells me that anyone with a real taste for electronic decadence is going to be more than pleased with what they discover in the new album Poetic Trance this year. Esglo is a complicated and thoughtful musician on all counts, but in this specific piece, it feels like he’s letting go of any notions critics might have spouted off about his first two records in favor of trying something more inventive and creatively stimulating than anyone could see coming. His efforts are worth the praise, and hopefully something we’re going to see and hear a lot more of in the near future.