Review : d’Eon - LP
TinymixtapesThere is an irresistible tendency to lump d’Eon in with seemingly similar practitioners of what some would call “alternative R&B” or “meta-pop.” Of course, there is his connection to Grimes, with their shared creation myth in the Montreal loft scene and their 2011 split, Darkbloom, which will mostly be remembered for showcasing an almost fully metamorphosed Grimes. Similarly, d’Eon’s rise has coincided with other bedroom pop astronauts like How To Dress Well and Autre Ne Veut, who filter commercial R&B sounds through their own unique perceptions. And then there is a predisposition shared with Ford & Lopatin to both explore schmaltzy synth sounds and nose around the edges of adult contemporary from the late 80s and early 90s. In the case of d’Eon, what sets him apart is his investment in the extra-human, a unique spiritual searching in his music that’s absent in the hyper-referentialist pop tendencies (however honest) of his contemporaries. In this way, d’Eon is looking beyond late capitalism’s global pop vortex for something that runs deeper than k-pop or even Aaliyah.
At its core, d’Eon’s first true album is an “oratorio in four parts,” mostly centered around an interest in Gabriel’s revelation to Muhammad and the search for God in today’s information-obsessed society. Although traditional religious concerns and spirituality are seemingly anathema in the indie music world, d’Eon’s religious quality shouldn’t be surprising coming from a guy who sought refuge from the wired world by going to a Himalayan monastery, but yet, throughout all the upturned-palms-to-heaven musings, I kept waiting for a hint of irony or some acknowledgment that it’s all just motif-for-motif’s sake. However, my doubts were put to rest with songs like “Chastisement,” which is as serious as self-flagellation, and closer “Al Qiyamah,” which ends in an apocalyptic cacophony of 56k modem squelch and the dire warning of air raid sirens. Others, such as “Gabriel II,” hurl questions like “What happened 1,400 years ago to make Him cut us off/ Do we really deserve the silent treatment?” into the void. At other times, d’Eon’s higher-minded concerns are with the role of God in today’s world, living in the cloud, and the potential of the Singularity: “If everybody can see everybody/ What’s the point of omniscience?” he posits on “Chastisement.” But it’s not the sort of misty-eyed post-humanist desire you would imagine, as he plaintively notes, “I don’t want to be swallowed by the internet.” Here, it’s interesting to compare d’Eon with contemporary Pictureplane and his full-on trans-/post-humanist ideology, a leaning present in most of d’Eon’s contemporaries (and maybe even with d’Eon himself, albeit with stated reservations)....full text
PitchforkIn his brief career to date D'eon has marked himself as a curious prospect. He is part of an exciting new scene of mostly electronic musicians in Montreal; including Purity Ring and Grimes (with whom he released a split EP last year). Like those two artists, D'eon's approach has an esoteric bent to it, and on his new full-length, simply titled LP, he investigates two extremes of spirituality: He explores ideas of tradition and religion, pitting them against a modern self trapped at the top of a Facebook profile or communicating via iPhone.
For the most part, the questions LP poses are the ones you might ask yourself everyday when turning on your computer, but they also seem to be issues that haven't been explored that much in music. James Ferraro pushed some of the same buttons on last year's Far Side Virtual, but Ferraro's approach felt a bit more ironic, or tongue-in-cheek. D'eon's struggle with the online world and spiritual identity seems to come from a place of real soul-searching...full text
ExclaimMontreal synth master d'Eon releases his much anticipated LP today (June 5) on Hippos in Tanks, but you can give the whole thing a listen right here.
Apparently a concept album about the angel Gabriel existing in the realm of the internet circa 2012, it's hard not to be intrigued. Serious buzz has been generated by previously released album cuts "Al-Qiyamah" and "Now You Do," but now the gaps have been filled in.
It may clock in at over an hour in length, but the former Grimes collaborator's unique manipulation of sound should keep listeners attentive and impressed throughout....full text
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