Sunday, March 18, 2012

Evian Christ Gets Abstract

There's abstract hip hop and there's ambient music and never shall the two meet...until now. Evian Christ is a very unique artist who takes atmospheric soundscapes and combines them with hip hop verse to come up with something that's so blindingly confusing and so incredibly intriguing you'll find yourself gripped. His album, Kings and Them collects a series of songs he’ released on YouTube over the last several months. It might be hard to believe but this 22 year old producer just started to upload tunes in December and became an instantaneous internet star.

Upon listening to Kings and Them it's easy to understand why. Evian's strange and minimalistic approach to hip hop is stunning and it's so out of the ordinary that it shouldn't really work at all. Listening to this album like taking DJ Shadow's early work and slowing it down to a snail's pace and just letting it roll. Even at its most wordy, the songs of Kings and Them still manage to be barely there. Kings and Them is a slow, expansive, airy kind of record that utilizes rhymes sporadically and sparse thumping beats in an effort to let the atmosphere he creates permeate itself. It's all rather gorgeous stuff that chucks the rule book out the window, washes in and out, and floats on by.

While Evian insists that Kings and Them isn't an album but a collection of free songs, the record flows perfectly and ebbs and flows with a grace rarely found in hip hop. Kings and Them is an eccentric and unique album that challenges the notions of what hip hop is and what ambient should be. For these reasons and the fact that it sounds amazing Kings and Them is a pretty essential record.

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