On the third album, Erik Nilsson offers a new essay of his curious electro-acoustic experiments; continuing the elliptical parable of the previous “Hearing Things” (2015), in “The Imperfect Tense” the Swedish artist takes his look to embrace seven enigmatic soundscapes, fruit of the creative intersection between harmonic fragments and sound landscapes soaked in melancholy kinematics.
Well, after years of maturity and development, he has found his sound made up of elements of folk, jazz, classical and contemporary experimental music. However, what Erik Nilsson is doing here is quite unusual. For example, Brian Eno is sure or Daniel Lanois similar music made him, but carries Nilsson’s new album “The Imperfect Tense” a very personal touch.
On the one hand, his music is minimalistic, on the other hand, there is still a lot in it. It looks transparent, but is composed of several layers and contains a lot of movement. The acoustic instruments used, such as the piano or the guitar, fuse with electronic sounds, yet an analogous impression remains. The sounds are flowing and at the same time the music is pulsing almost continuously.
When Hidden Shoal launched Erik Nilsson’s “Tail Lights” as a teaser from his album Recollage, I was triggered by its teasing beauty. Like I was taken last year when checking out his amazing second album, Hearing Things. This is all about hearing and finding things. Musical gemstones. Diamonds in the rough.
For those who are unaccustomed to the work of Erik Nilsson, the recent reissue of his debut album ‘Recollage’ will certainly coming as something of an unexpected treat. It’s an album that often seems to have been unfairly eclipsed by the progressive sounds of successor, 2015’s ‘Hearing Things’, but in this new re-release by Hidden Shoal, ‘Recollage’ is brought back into the spotlight, letting it shine once again as a unique and unhindered triumph.
An album filled with a joyous and vibrant sense of playfulness, the re-issue of ‘Recollage’ brings together nine tracks (eight re-mastered and one original version) of skillfully blended electronics, live instruments, and field recordings, all of which are tussled, tossed and twisted through a series of digital manipulations. The end result is an expanding horizon of dizzying, technically precise instrumentals that are emotionally charged and brilliantly balanced.
Fragmented by sporadic, glitch bursts of open space, ‘Recollage’ was always a thoroughly unique spectacle, but with the re-issue has come a burst of extra instrumentation and a full re-mastering, and it’s taken the album from mesmerising to break-taking. The added flourishes and clarity has made ‘Recollage’ brighter, more vibrant, and more exciting than ever, offering a greater depth and a completely captivating experience.
The reissue of ‘Recollage’ has brought renewed life and colour to the old classic, and it’s amazing to revisit such a precious debut. 9/10