Using rhythm as a compass, Esglo is determined to chart unknown territories right off the bat in the song “Dreamstate,” the first of the tracklist in his new album Poetic Trance, but listeners needn’t fear a directionless experiment in songcraft here. On the contrary, for as ambitious an ear as Esglo is bringing into these sessions, his has got to be one of the more controlled hands at the helm of a project like this to hit record store shelves in 2021. It’s been an interesting year for electronic music, and between the beats of “Dreamstate,” the pulsating textural presence of “With Open Arms,” and the kinetic tone of “Within My Heart,” this album makes it clear to us how relevant its release really is.
“One More Try” has the look and feel of a club throwback, but its aesthetical stylizations aside, it does feel like a physical beast much in the same vein as “Distant Heart,” “Take Me By the Hand,” and “Open Your Heart.” There’s really no line Esglo isn’t willing to cross when it comes to breaching the boundary conventionally separating an artist from their audience, and to me, the muscularity of this material is one of the finest elements of the record. We’re getting as much brawn as we are compositional brains in a song like “First True Love of Mine,” which isn’t something I’ve been able to say about a lot of content coming out of the mainstream end of the pop spectrum in the past year.
“Mirage,” “My One Devotion,” and “Your Eyes” tease us with different strains of emotionality presented at quite contrasting speeds, but the continuity between all three songs is undeniable when examining the foundations of this master mix. There’s no end to the blunt grooves we find even in the slow tracks here, and while some might look at the expressiveness of the percussion and bassline as being a little predictable, all things considered, I think it’s through his manner of delivery that Esglo establishes his efforts in Poetic Trance as being a cut above the competition. The balladic tone of “Here and Now” as well as that of “My One Devotion” suggests a depth I want to hear him expand upon, and I haven’t any doubts he’ll be doing as much the next time he hits the recording studio.
Listen to Poetic Trance on Spotify. Esglo · Album · 2021 · 12 songs.
Esglo offers up a pretty solid electronic effort in Poetic Trance this winter that doesn’t flirt with the indulgences a lot of other albums did in 2021, and with regards to its stylistic efficiencies, this is probably one of the leanest and meanest LPs of its kind to capture my attention in a while. Poetic Trance follows some formulaic patterns here and there, but it’s the final product this record is presenting us with that makes it such a worthwhile listen. There aren’t many players with the kind of skills Esglo is rocking in this offering, and I hope to hear them in action again a lot sooner than later.