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Kevin’s Music Reviews: ECCΘ DREΔMS EP

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I don’t know how to pronounce this artist’s name. It hurts my brain trying to figure it out. I don’t know what the symbols that make up the name are supposed to mean either. My feeble little mind can only describe this phenomena as a black triangle sandwiched between what I can abstractly define as a couple of symbols that resemble what 2 Christian crosses would look like if they were turned into mating love bugs. Or, hey, a sideways ‘H’ works too. Or a couple plus signs standing on top of each other? Maybe it’s a bizarre emoji (God only knows what emotion is being conveyed here if it is). I could be researching this instead of making an uneducated buffoon out of myself, but I owe it to my readers to lend my interpretations (and also, I can’t google it for the life of me). The album at hand here won’t be much easier, honestly. Here we have something really simple yet weirdly difficult to describe, and a little kooky as well.
The “ECCΘ DREΔMS EP,” as it’s called, rides on the recent surge of chopped-and-screwed/looped edits of oldies from the plunderphonics/eccojams subgenres and goes about it with some of the simplest technique I’ve seen so far. Typically, the agenda of such acts is to cut up, slow down, reassemble, or merge weary songs from days gone by to create an ever-so-subtly new song out of the pieces, usually resulting in something strangely hypnotizing and entrancing. This is achieved on the ECCΘ DREΔMS EP, despite the fact that it is one of the more minimally-touched contenders in the subgenre, which also what makes it such an interesting piece to look at when looking at the art as a whole.

You see, each of the few songs present here makes for a few true gems in the vaporwave/eccojams movement. On the EP’s ultimate track (penultimate, if you snag the bonus track)“←GΘT TΘ REMEMBER→”, one brief line and the main hook from the a-ha hit “Take On Me” are all that comprises this seven-minute opus, as they are simply taffy-pulled, slowed down and repeated from start to finish. Yet, it baffles me to relegate this song to such a lazy-sounding rank, because the resulting song in fact turns out to be a fantastic, hazy and dream-like piece of droning mood-food, massaging all the bittersweet emotion from that one single line into your mind like lotion, wringing one fleeting moment of all that it’s worth and extracting something heavy from it that otherwise would have been forsaken by time as something insignificant. All at once, the subgenre’s potency gets re-evaluated, even after much less subtle acts such as Chuck Person and Vektroid have you convinced that the tools you’ve been measuring the “goodness” of music with might have been skewed the whole time. How does such a seemingly lazy edit beget something so satisfying, even in a way entirely independent of the original song? And this isn’t even considering the dreamy re-imagining of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” on track 2, or the album’s grandiosely powerful finale track (a wonderful trend in the genre, seen from Floral Shoppe and Eccojams Vol. 1, among other albums) with the heart-churning beckoning of “All I ever wanted/all I ever needed/was you in my arms” chanted seemingly to no avail throughout the length of the song. It’s hypnotic, and all at once encapsulates the subtle power that such minor tweaks can yield to pre-existing songs. Then, the prerequisites that comprise “good” music are redefined and a really weird, unpronounceable (almost verbally-impossible to recommend) and quirky bandcamp EP becomes the best thing you’ve found in the past month or so. If there’s anything I’ve learned here, it is “don’t expect a goddamn thing when embarking on a new album.”

Cheers, peers.

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