Album Review: Eye-C’s “E“ delivers a cinematic and stimulating interstellar journey.
As you all know, Us For Once abbreviates to UFO … Coincidence? We think not. While travelling through space and time, we recently came across rising musical duo Eye-C, and their debut album “E”. Much like our magazine’s acronym, they’re out of this world.
Simply branded into the “Space Pop” genre, “E” is experimental and extraterrestrial. To try and effectively label Eye-C’s music does not do them justice, as their creative blend of futuristic funk, psychedelic and rap mixed in with killer basslines and classic space sounds such as plasma waves and radio transmissions is something unique and unheard of in recent times.
“E” has an intriguing artistic concept; a documentation of the thoughts and emotions we as humans experience in our day to day lives, told through the eyes of an alien visitor to our planet. Although the communicated message is extraterrestrially twisted, the struggles represented are simple and bound to resonate with listeners.
Eye-C is made up of vocalist That Guy and soundscape composer DJ Fathouse. Together, they’re a killer combination. That Guy is remarkably adaptable, switching up his tone to match the vibe of each song, never breaking the theme. Comparable to a space age Lil Wayne, That Guy’s raspy, relaxed flow on “disguisE” and “trappEd”, combined with the binaural elements of the songs make them a treat to listen to. DJ Fathouse is also incredible. His imaginative mixing of celestial noises and seamless transitions elevate “E” from a common album to a sensory musical experience.
“E” is also unique in that the 19-track album is 50/50 spoken word and ambience. “E” delivers its fair share of psychedelic poetry as well as plenty of cool space out tracks that allow the listener to sit back and fully experience the overarching cinematic elements of the album.
The album opens with “New Home”, which showcases bells, beeps, alien noises, breathing, and cut-off radio transmissions. This is a great opening track since it’s slightly creepy, but captivating nonetheless. “New Home” is just the beginning, and it leaves the listener wanting more out of this story.
A few tracks later, we get to “trappEd”, the album’s lead single. It’s the catchiest song off “E” and a good way to get a feel of the whole album. As previously stated, That Guy’s vocals flow in just the right way, making this track versatile enough to be played at a kickback, as well as serve as some quality solo vibe music.
“MonEy” starts off with a superb bassline (“E” has plenty of funky bassline moments for sure, but “MonEy”’s is stellar) mixed in with cash register audio and a cool message that works perfectly with the alien outsider theme. “MonEy” is our galactic visitor’s case study of our society and the fact that humans are ruled by cash. There’s cynicism and confusion over the wars and suffering fueled by money (or lack thereof) and our corrupt government. This funky track contains a social message that’s sure to get you thinking.
Similarly, “DrivE”, ft. K.T., packs a surprising punch. Sounding more like slam poetry than a rap song, “DrivE” includes powerful lines such as “Back then we used to be 3/5 of man, now today 3 out of 5 of us die”. The poignant social commentary took me aback. It’s good. It’s strong, it works, it’s what we need more of in music. “DrivE” is one track off “E” that is definitely not one to be missed.
“PhonE” and “End.” have no words, but they bring you back to Earth (or whatever planet you’re from). These tracks let the listener know that their interstellar journey is over, and now they must return home, hopefully taking some of this newfound knowledge to approach life differently.
All in all, “E” is unique. It’s not your typical rap/indie/alternative/psychedelic music, it is so much more. This is a work that you need to slow down and listen to all in one sitting, because the lyrics and ambient noises all flow like one complete story. Not only is the music literally tingly and stimulating, if you really listen to the words, it’ll make you think. Listen a little closer and you’ll see how intellectual and cool this album really is. It’s cinematic, and it really stands out.
“E” won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, at least not at first. It’s not a traditional album, and parts of it are definitely very abstract and cinematic at times. However, it’s definitely worth at least one listen all the way through. The concept of viewing our lives through alien eyes is definitely an intriguing one, and perhaps the best part is that every listener will embark on a different journey, and can interpret these messages whatever way they want. I believe that’s the final goal of “E”: to let the listener close their eyes, imagine, and stimulate their minds through music.
Us For Once is more than just a music magazine, it’s about art and new ideas and expanding our brains to all the cool new things out there. Eye-C does just that with “E”, and we think that’s cooler than the sub-zero temperatures beyond the asteroid belt.