maggie smile

OUT NOW! Sensual approach Vol.2 -incl SING TOGETHER by the EGH project feat. Maggie Smile


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The EGH Project has produced a work that not only sets the mood but sets the mode…. by Charles Sweet

Life Song begins with “Walking to the Rhythm”, an introduction that sets the tone with a rich, progressive tone that literally fills your ears with movement: The pad and keyboard driven song is complex in construction but exceptionally inviting—I never felt out of place here and that, to me, creates the best atmosphere to start a project on. I loved the saxophone break and because of how strong this song was I looked forward to what was next. “One Life One Song” is the follow up to the previous song’s spacy backdrop allows for a well-spoken poem of sorts that builds to a funky, bass-laden groove. Eric van Aro’s voice shines clearly here as introspective meaning rolls off his performance in droves.

“Sing Together” features Maggie Smile-Vox who does a wonderful job of adding a compliment to Eric’s sound. They work in tandem to create an atmospheric groove that is basic yet explorative and ultimately a ying and yang completion. This is easily my favorite song on the album because there is so much to hear and in turn, experience, due to both singers ability to elevate both the song and their performances by playing off each other. The feel is decidedly 90s era, and one well-missed by R&B lovers.

If “Tattoo” works—it’s because the EGH project is able to take the raw materials and make room for an impressive expression; simply calling it a song doesn’t do it justice. The song is gentle, yet explosive; rich, yet reserved, and a very, very good showing. I know I said “Sing Together” was my favorite from Life Song, I know I did, and I’m sorry but these two songs battle for supremacy depending on time of day I listen to them. That, in itself, is something to marvel.

“E2E” is another bass-driven track that takes all the guesswork out of finding your groove and because of the four-on-the-floor drumming it is easy for both Eric and you the listener to fall into a nice pocket of rhythm. As well produced as this one is, my attention was dead center of the vocal stylings: Eric maneuvers adeptly throughout the elements and if any of the songs on this project deserve a music video, this by and large is it. This song breathes a vigorous life back into you and the aim is so accurate, so true, that you know exactly what he came to do with this song. Overall, Life Song is adventurous and ranges from dramatic to heartfelt to rejoicing to soothing without ever feeling phoned in. The EGH Project has produced a work that not only sets the mood but sets the mode.
Review by: Charles Sweet



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The EGH Project is made up of three talented musicians…… by Heath Andrews

The EGH Project is made up of three talented musicians, whose individual abilities combine to form a unique musical style that can take elements of house music, chill-out, Brazilian and Afro-house and blend them together impeccably well.  Their 2014 album Life Song goes through these genres to great success, providing an engaging and entertaining listen nearly start to finish.  It does make a misstep or two, and also may have some problems finding an audience amongst the hardcore house fans, but it’s still undeniably strong.

Vocalist Eric van Aro, producer and writer Sebastiano Mambretti, and keyboardist/programmer DJ Marco Finotello make contributions here that result in creating something greater than what the individual parts suggest.  Life Song is a powerful creative statement more than anything else.  Though it uses a lot of house beats and arrangements, there’s a substantial amount of lyrical depth to some of the tracks along with consistently powerful vocals.  And for all the programmed beats and keys, there’s still room for some pieces to include breathtakingly smooth saxophone parts and in one particular instance, stellar guitar work.

Because of all the layers and dimensions to the music, it’s hard for there to be a specific audience that this album will cater to.  The deep house arrangements might be made for dancing, but the lyrics are made to be listened to and absorbed.  The chill-out tones are effective, but there are also enough exciting and engaging performances to stop the tracks from being truly relaxing.  Instead, the EGH Project has come up with a fantastically unique experience that draws upon the creative heights of groups like Massive Attack and The Orb, but with some pop sensibilities that something like Everything But The Girl could really capture.

“Walkin’ to the Rhythm” starts the album off by diving straight into the deep house sound and surfacing with an exotic beat that’s simultaneously soft and catchy.  Van Aro’s vocals are fairly restrained and fitting with the atmosphere of the piece and his delivery has a cadence to it that perfectly matches the groove.  The late addition of a brief saxophone solo punctuates things nicely, allowing the song to end on a high note without breaking stride.

When it comes to implementing non-programmed instrumentation, “E2E: is the strongest example of that.  The song is dedicated to Eric Clapton and besides name dropping his nickname of Slowhand, it also features some fairly intense guitar playing from Luca Verde.  At first he throws in a couple of bluesy chords but ultimately ends up laying down a solo and doing an admirable interpretation of Clapton’s signature tone and style.

The saxophone from Alberto Pompignoli meanwhile is a frequent addition to the tracks and on numbers like “Tattoo” or “Forever Ride,” give them enough of a boost to where they avoid falling into being too repetitive for their own good.  The difference its inclusion makes is notable too when you listen to songs that lack it such as “Water and Life” or the cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.”  The latter of these is an interesting choice for a cover but doesn’t quite work because of how heavily emotional the vocal and lyric is on Chapman’s original, something that doesn’t ring as true here.  “Water and Life” on the other hand puts van Aro into too much of a spoken word role when it would’ve been far more beneficial to let his beautiful singing voice carry the song.

On a cut such as “Brazil N Bossa” van Aro sings his heart out and that alone is enough to make it memorable.  The arrangement here is also amazingly strong and that just compounds the enjoyment of things.  The “Brazil” part of the title is taken to heart and leads to a mix of percussive, string, and brass effects that are drastically different than any other sounds on the record.  Not only is it a strong indicator of the talent within The EGH Project, but it’s also a great example of how varied the house genre can be when different cultural elements are put into play.

Special note should be given too for other memorable tracks like “Live My Love” with its wonderful sense of sensuality, “One Life One Song” that features the group at its most lyrically deep and intense and “Sing Together” which has the distinction of featuring a duet between van Aro and guest vocalist, Maggie Smile.  If anyone were under the impression that electronic house music all sounds similar, this would go a long way towards shattering that premise.

The EGH Project and their stunning album Life Song is an almost perfectly constructed adventure through sounds, textures, moods, and ideas that listeners aren’t going to forget.  It’s melding and straddling of genres may leave hardcore house and chill out fans wanting something a bit more focused and in-depth, but general music fans and newcomers to the genres are going to be in for a more than special treat.
Artist: The EGH Project

Album: Life Song

Rating: 4.5 Stars (out of 5)

Review by: Heath Andrews 



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Traxsource Lounge/Chill Out Hitparade October 22nd 2014 – EGH PROJECT – #3 Sing Together feat. Maggie Smile – #8 E2E feat. Luca Verde – #11 Jazz

Traxsource CHill top 22 octbo


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