18 March 2014 (Tri Angle Records)
First listen. Computer speakers, half volume, staring at Evian Christ’s website of dripping water and broken, decorative font cutting in and out. Humming along to “Salt Carousel”, motioning the synth line with my fingers, remembering mixing it in with songs I’d played at my friend’s house over the last four or so months. Playing it for my friends more tailored to the bombastic and danceable house scene, finding everyone strangely intrigued but scared by it. “Fuck Idol”, following the pattern of its predecessor, somehow sounding less harsh but more frightening and violent. “Propeller”, taking a melodic synth line and beating it to the point of death over more and more metallic cymbals and syncopated, dry bass notes. Then, even in a crappy sonic state of deteriorating built in speakers, the centerpiece, and the point of no return, “Waterfall”, of which this EP gives its name. Unarguably the least accessible yet most compelling of all the tracks, “Waterfall” reaches an almost uncomfortable state of listening, that all the while keeps you monumentally drawn in.
The second, third, and consecutive listens all take place with some studio headphones, still sitting at my computer. The producer whiz behind “I’m In It” finally reaches me as maybe, if possible, operating in a realm even outside that of Kanye. Not by any means more accomplished or talented or ambitious, but this guy seems to be operating in a musical world outside nearly anything that’s currently being done (and recognized at least). I doubt even Yeezy could rap over the blown speaker horror-fest of “Waterfall”. If this is only a taste of what Joshua Leary can produce, I can’t imagine the anticipation leading up to further, more drawn out releases of his. In vein with Gesaffelstein and Arca, Evian Christ is proving more and more to be one of the most important producers of his time. All three were likely responsible for some of the most innovative moments off the massively collaborative “Yeezus”, and present styles that go beyond the ‘anyone with a computer can now make music’ mindset. While at this point there are entire worlds of electronic music beyond me, there’s a factor in Evian Christ’s work that nearly renders him uncategorized by genre labels. And who knows, maybe that’s the only place modern music can go from here on out, an unidentifiable, beautiful mess. Maybe we finally are entering a post-1984 Orwellian world scored by “Waterfall”, or maybe it’s just another contemplation on how close we feel we are to that world. Anyways, everything aside, this music is determined to scare the absolute shit out of you all while keeping you intrigued and fascinated. And I don’t know anywhere in its 16 minutes where it fails to do just that.
Favorite Tracks: “Salt Carousel”, “Waterfall”
Rating: Liked It