This is another one from the tail end of last year that may have slipped away from most ears. L’Eclair have found themselves in good company over the years, releasing a couple of albums on Beyond Beyond is Beyond, backing up Maston last year and now landing on Les Bongos Joe with a co-release on Flightless. Confusions marks a split from the bulk of their past work, though. Always on the edge of funk, and flirting with Library music (nowhere more so than with Maston of late) this latest finds them pushing those impulses farther afield. With an ear towards prog, and the longform journey approach to the genre, the Swiss group edit together a cinematic opus that slides through Formica funk, breakbeat grooves, dancefloor numbness, psychedelic folk, and German Progressive hypnotism.
The velvet crush of their early records is untethered as they float freely into the cosmos and lacquer their craft with a polyurethane finish. I’d often associated the band with a kind of precision propulsion, and while that still oils the pop motor here, the band allows themselves plenty of opportunities to embrace excess. The centerpiece suite, “Cosmologies,” exemplifies their focus on letting the groove take them where it needs to go, sprawling over three pieces that could just as easily be cribbing from CAN as they could from The Golden Road. Themes are hurled and called back throughout the record, a kaleidoscopic playground of drums and space pushing against the carotid throb of bass. While I’m always gonna fall for the more focused records, and I loved what they did with Maston this past year, its fun to hear the band embrace the infinite on Confusions.
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