Audio Mixer: Thomas Poli .
Photographer: Lionel Laquerrière.
ESB is a collaborative project featuring French soundtrack composer Yann Tiersen along with Lionel Laquerrière (a member of Tiersen's live band) and Thomas Poli. The group began during soundchecks for Tiersen's concerts, and their debut album was entirely improvised within ten days. As to be expected, the album feels much more loose and carefree than Tiersen's usual work, forgoing labored perfection for in-the-moment feelings. The album was released by Krautrock label Bureau B, a fitting home as it contains plenty of percolating analog synthesizers and motorik rhythms. Despite the fact that one of the songs is titled "Spoon," the album is a far cry from Can, however; it's much closer to the more cosmic Berlin school. Centerpiece "X2" is a ten-minute astral journey worthy of Klaus Schulze. Other tracks are closer to the proto-electro soundtrack work of John Carpenter, with sinister pulses and foreboding atmospheres. At times, the album feels like early Kraftwerk on a bit of a mean streak, especially with the dark, sneaky melody of "Jellyfish." ESB sounds spooky at times, but more often than not, it's just a fun, slightly messy collaboration that doesn't take itself too seriously. ~ Paul Simpson