On first glance, one might look at the title of We Used To Be Free and think it was some sort of metaphor for human justice, or some other societal belief. Upon reading the description of how this album came together, it becomes clear that the title literally means what it says: these songs used to be available for free, one a month, until the effort became a full-length. Eric Maltz has taken a unique approach to songwriting, in which he chose to take singular parts and make them into a whole rather than starting with an album theme and breaking it into parts. The result is one of the most intriguing and immersive EPs I have heard in a very long time.
“Piano Experiment No. 4455” starts sweetly enough, developing into chords and trills at both extremes of the keyboard that demonstrate a solid mastery of piano theory. I’ve wanted to hear this sort of compositional work for quite some time, and this effort was everything I could have hoped for. This sounds like a great prelude to a master symphony – it will be interesting to see if more ‘experiments’ like this come in the future (it was a very successful effort).
“Eric Maltz feat. Mónica Kisic – Mein Herz Ist Dein” reminds me very much of the music I hear when I’m shopping in a store like DSW: a wild, unique, upbeat sort of acid europop that brightens your eyes and makes everything just feel…better. The sampled German lyrics, along with the title, added an exotic flair and, I learned how to say ‘my heart is yours alone’ in another language. A song that sounds great AND teaches a little something? Win.
If I thought my foreign language socks were rocked by the previous song, “Pecas y Lunares – Relatividad” took that to a whole new level, combining the instruments and sounds used in acid pop with a hip-hop mentality - and delivering that delicious concoction in a bowl of Spanish lyrics. This sounds like what happens when all predetermined limitations to music are cast aside and true creativity is allowed to thrive.
There is so much going on in “Best Friends (Light and Sharpness Mix).” Sure, there’s a general 4/4 beat in there (somewhere), but there’s also a really pushy sound layered over it that makes it impossible to keep with the rhythm. The vocals even sound like they’re on an irregular beat. Sound comes from every direction at any given moment, and in my attempts to capture every single note, I found myself waving my head around maniacally. That was a lot of fun, actually.
I was very pleased to hear the return of the piano in the beautiful song “Moretones” – it was exactly what I could have hoped for after hearing the piano experiment. Even though there’s only one instrument being played, one begins to wonder if the composer has three hands in order to play the different ranges of sound all at once.
Due to space constraints I cannot describe every song here, but I highly recommend checking out the entire album. Each song is different and will give you a different experience and interpretation; all together, they offer a glimpse into the mind of a true artist when freedom to think and create is exercised. This was a fantastic listen, and I greatly look forward to the next collection Eric Maltz puts out!
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook