Get Evian Christ’s debut full-length for free (legally)!
by Samuel Tolzmann on March 4, 2012
Posted in: Electronic
If you’ve been keeping up with the post-dubstep dance music scene at all — which hopefully you have, ’cause there is some amazing electronic music being made right now — you’ve probably noted the pervasive presence of a few qualities: vast empty spaces, ominously echoing beats, seismic-grade bass, chopped-n-screwed vocals, ironically appropriated Top 40 hip-hop/R&B signifiers, and a generally cold, gothed-out atmosphere. Looks to me like it’s the combined influence of Burial’s Untrue, the Knife’s Silent Shout, J Dilla’s posthumous Donuts, and first-wave U.K. dubstep in the flattening, democratizing era of the internet. Not too long ago, there was a short-lived subgenre called “witch house” that specialized in a cartoonishly exaggerated version of this very aesthetic; that sound is now largely dead (ironically, for a sound that tried hard to seem like it was already dead…), but the record label that became known for establishing the witch house sound, Tri Angle Records, is still around. Tri Angle is on the vanguard of all this gloomy hip-hop-inflected electronica being put out in the here and now, with such notable acts on its roster as Salem, oOoOO, How to Dress Well, Balam Acab, Holy Other, Clams Casino, and Water Borders.
The latest Tri Angle release is Kings And Them, the debut record from U.K. college student Evian Christ, and it’s a perfect encapsulation of the label’s aesthetic. Made on his laptop, grounded in gangsta rap and steeped in eerie, vaguely industrial ambience, it’s a lumbering, blurry, and sometimes frightening album punctuated by an irresistible danceability. So it’s good. Even better, Tri Angle is offering it for free! Get it right here, right now at Mediafire. Additionally, check out an interview with Christ (Evian, not Jesus) and an unreleased track at Pitchfork.
And if you’re in the mood for pitch-shifted, nightmarish bass music (or even if you’re not), you simply HAVE to hear the latest Burial EP, Kindred. It’s one of the best albums I’ve heard in ages and surpasses even the U.K. producer’s 2007 masterpiece Untrue, one of my personal favorite records of all time. Each of the three tracks on the EP is incredible: “Kindred” is driven by a have-to-hear-it-to-believe-it bass drop from hell; the stunning “Loner” is Burial’s most open venture into house music territory yet, its jittery synths and fast pulse locking you into an infinite dance loop, but it’s still characteristically Burial (i.e. borderline-evil); and the highlight, 12-minute closer “Ashtray Wasp,” is the artist’s single best track ever, an ultimate Burial composition that’s emotionally wrenching, sunken in dark vocal atmospherics, propelled by a clattering, domineeringly militaristic beat, and blessed with one of the loveliest breakdowns you’ll ever hear (is that a glockenspiel?!). Check out the each of the three tracks below; I recommend playing them as loud as possible on high-quality speakers or headphones, but make sure your subwoofers (and eardrums) can handle the onslaught.
UPDATE: Hear the brand new Burial-Four Tet collab over at Pitchfork! Whoa!