Originally printed in Now Then Magazine issue 84
When asked about the political correctness of their name, I’m sure the usual answer is “I wasn’t there”. That being said, this record is named after our own star, the centrepiece of our astronomical neighbourhood.Sol, the Spanish word for ‘sun’, is also Latin for ‘solution’, or the verb ‘to solve’, and this is a record that solves one big music problem that has dominated the scene for many years. Only Moby did it well in the mainstream, Bjork touched on it, but Eskmo is singing cleanly over space age, ambient, chiming electro. Combining the palatable with the experimental is no easy task.
Vocals dress the abstract and far-out workings like crisp linen shirts, pressed and fitted. They do carry effects and the music does mirror their emotive elements, but we don’t lose the feel. The thing about this formulation of keys and rhythms is that it places us in a vessel on psychedelic oceans, among stars, DNA strands and grey aliens handing us books about Zen flower arrangement. We get all this, plus a heartfelt human voice, lending what we sometimes call reality to what is otherwise an acid trip for the ears.
As an album, the opener is grandiose, spectacular and I didn’t want it to end. I felt empowered. From here on, my mood was toyed with, shifted and enlightened. The tracks urged me to keep going, feeling the breeze of eternity as the moments streamed past me. The standout track for me is ‘The Sun Is a Drum’. A cheeky reminder of the intro track twinkles that bit of me that craved its return, then boom, whoosh and lift off. It takes everything from the album and that original feeling together like a fusion of swell. It’s the punchline, but it’s not funny - it’s musically devastating. In the best sense, of course.
Rowan Blair Colver