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"I've Nothing to lose.
It's my kind of blues"
Eric Bling hails from the deep south of France (Bordeaux), where he grew up listening to american blues in his father's garage. He's one of those rare artists that seem to have risen from somewhere else on dry, fully formed wings, armed with a fresh, deft touch and a keen ear on something new and ancient.
While other artists ( Moby and Fat Possum Record's remixes of RL Burnside,T-Model Ford, + Little Axe and others ) have successfully mixed technowhatever / sampling with traditional blues and have done a great job of it, none have done it so spot on and seamlessly and sensuously as Eric Bling.
There is something genuinly ergonomic, something organic about Bling's modern or neu non-trad blues that just sounds right. The way in which he embraces the beats of drum machines and the pleasures of audio loops, sampling and sonic texturing sounds natural and unprocessed as he cross-pollinates it with serious blues vibes. On some tracks the technology is barely perceptible - but it's there...whispering, while on others the future is right there shakin' it's ass right in front of you.
One could easily hear the track I Believe on the radio today and be thrilled with the state of blues-based music. Bling's Stereo Blues will require you to get down. Same goes for the groovy, stoney blues dub of These Are Hard Times, or the trip-hop dusted blues of Going Home. Eric Bling is doing it free, deep, and in his own way.
The orchestral version of the title track A Room Over My Head is stellar. It's a beautifully natural groove and sexy drone piece finely decorated with attententuated slips of raga/hip-hop/some fine folk references, all done with a french accent. This song is so good it actually made me laugh out loud when I first heard it. It's got a nice balance of
sexy and creepy.
I would not call Bling's work a thinking man's blues ( 'tho it is smart ) because that has its own conotations and this music is too sexy and personal for that. But I will say that this is an album that people will no-doubt discover in 20 years and say "Whoa" ( but I hope all y'all discover it today.)
Bling takes American blues and opens it up, makes it cross/pan/whatever-cultural without crushing its essence, without adding or distracting from what was already there...he simply twists it gently by the ear and carresses it into reminding you why you love the blues in the first place. It's sturdy, yet malleable. It touches your heart and soul at the same time that it's moving your body. If it's doing it right it makes you think a minute, too. Bling's music is worldwide without saying look at me i'm exotic, without being a gentrified and preciously studied world music. It's music that drives an old Ford step-sider pick-up down a freshly oiled gravel road in the deep south (of France) at night under a blue cresent moon. It's natural mystic man blues played by an astronaut.
This album was originally recorded on 2011 but due to shenanigans by sketchy characters it was delayed until the French label Normandeep Blues Records picked it up. Kudos to them for that. Now you have the opportunity to love it as I do. Thoughtful, stylishly funky, hot but chill blues from the future if the future was today.
You need this.