Eric Hausmann: “Soaked” – the kind of magisterial immensity that begs to be labeled as cinematic

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Eric Hausmann is a multi-instrumentalist and film composer. He has produced music for a number of Malaysian films, in addition to scoring for a variety of New York film productions. He performs live as a guitarist with Portland’s Tres Gone, and Malaysia’s Space Gambus Experiment. He is formerly a member of The Gone Orchestra and Brainwarmer. Hausmann recently released “Soaked” a seven track recording which is described as “A cross-section of Asian dub-fused rock n’ roll with deep India influences.” But it’s probably more than that, as I’m hearing post-rock, world fusion, and ambient rock influences injected into these tracks.

Eric Hausmann crafts some of the grooviest, gorgeously lush instrumental tracks out there. Capable of widescreen, ethereal beauty one moment and skull rattling bass heaviness the next, Hausmann manages to tap into a very specific emotional core that doesn’t rely solely on loud/soft dynamics to elicit responses in the listener.

Rather there’s a general sense of expectation throughout, knowing that at any time gorgeous, ephemeral moments could erupt in a spasm of seizure-inducing rhythms. Throughout, you’re essentially left waiting for the next massive surge in intensity and, when it comes, it functions as a welcome relief that borders on the euphoric, having been finally afforded the release the listener craves with being taken to the next sonic level.

Opening track “Sub Con Pulse” features a quick but gradual build that abruptly devolves into oppressively heavy, though no less majestic, bass and pummeling percussion. This is the kind of magisterial immensity that begs to be labeled as cinematic, causing all senses to tremble and one’s vision to blur as the sounds reverberate within one’s head, causing massive vibrations to emanate throughout the whole of the body. The bass alone is enough to rupture any number of speakers and eardrums and can be felt throughout the whole of one’s body with a startling clarity.

Rather than losing anything in the transition from slumbering to full-on roar, the individual elements, of the fully awake and blissful reggae slumber on “We Are On Our Way To Dub”, are heightened and snapped fully into focus, immediately and often rudely thrust out of the gauzy haze of sleep by chiming guitars and adlib vocal interludes.

The individual elements on “Bhangropolis” are broken down into a handful of distinct Eastern and Western sounding instruments that all begin with a smoldering melancholy but within mere minutes, erupts into massive walls of joyous percussion and sitar melody.

Never becoming formulaic, Eric Hausmann’s approach on standout songs such as “Ayam Dub”, “Want To Dub Right Now” and “Darker Travels”, show this project to be rare purveyors of a certain sort of sonic uniqueness within this type of instrumental idiom that leaves the listener wondering just where the song structure and instrumentation itself will be headed next. The only certainty is plenty of dub effects and echoes.

Essentially, Eric Hausmann creates some of the coolest, most beautiful instrumental post-rock out there, crafting massively orchestral orientated pieces out of minimalist organic sounding elements, forgoing the slow gradual builds in favor of drastic dynamic shifts. This only serves to heighten the visceral impact music like this can have on the listener.

Forgoing the genre’s tendency toward the easy emotional sell, however, Hausmann manages to create a sound wholly his own while still operating fully within the basic frameworks of the post-rock, ambient, world music and instrumental rock genres.

All the necessary sonic touchstones are there only slightly skewed to create something wholly new and different. Within a bunch of genres in which most bands become interchangeable, Eric Hausmann once again manages to set himself completely apart.

SUB CON PULSE from Eric Hausmann on Vimeo.

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