Eyedress is a psychedelic electronic project straight outta Manila – the solo laptop project of 23 year old Filipino producer, Idris Vicuña. Thoroughly modern and contemporary, the artist tackles that indescribably frightening part of your acid trip about 3-5 hours in, where the walls are still moving, your lips still feel weird, and you’re not sure whether you’re coming back.
The latest release from Eyedress is a collaborative mixtape, primarily with vocalist Skint Eastwood, who provides haunting vocals on six of the twelve tracks, which, were it not for Eyedress’s knowledge of genre and sheer production skill, might be considered Witch House. Yet gladly, this isn’t Witch House. The vocals might be considered a little whitchy, sure, but the music behind it sure as hell isn’t house music, and it’s missing the main feature of Witch House. It isn’t shit.
A record that seems to borrow from every contemporary genre, Eyedress’s Hearing Colours might be the most intriguing electronic release of 2014.
Among the woozy, disconcerting synthesised pads, the highlight on the album is Eyedress’ masterful use of percussion to create texture. Arhuaco is a great example of this inventive use of percussion, taking the sped up hats of contemporary hip-hop and having cutting them through a haze of underwater synthesisers. Likewise, Triduum is full of swampy, evolving filters, yet a very 1980’s pattern of slow, pulsating kicks, noisy snares and almost inaudible hats bring a level of sanity to what would otherwise certainly drive you mad.
Also remarkable is the way that the tracks seem to slot perfectly into every continuum of electronic music. At times the mixtape feels a lot like Aphex Twin – very dark and industrial textures abounding, and the next minute you could be fooled into thinking you were listening to an unreleased track from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Tracks like Periastron could be mistaken for an experimental neo-soul track, while Mountbatten would feel at home on an early MGMT record. It’s an album that seems to be everything all at once, but unlike so many albums that shoot for such broad horizons, each damn track does what it’s supposed to do so fucking well.
It was clear to me that, while it’s an excellent work as a whole White Lies is the highlight of the work. It sums up everything that this release exemplifies – infinity, intensity, waking dreams that fade to nightmares. Each bass note seems to pulsate and explode like a reverse firework, and it’s the one moment on this track that makes me think I’m going to be revisiting Hearing Colours many, many times this year.
10/10 best new music.
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