3 out of 5
Produced by: EOD (?)
Sometimes, we rate by context. On ◙, the first of three shape-named EPs by EOD, sampling one of these tracks on its lonesome might elicit a greater response, but bundled together, they feel like part of something larger. Indeed, you could say they’re intended to be – part of those other EPs. But they were released separately, and with time inbetween to digest the contents. But before I get into the individual tracks, I’d still want to preface: EOD is amazing. The artist has a wide cache of obvious IDM / Rephlex influences from which to draw, and they’re able to both mimic them and add to their repertoires, and / or renewing the material through their own, unique style – which is a bit more melodic than most of his peers. And what makes this recycling / rejiggering fun is that it arrives within a sense of pretense – it’s not done with a wink, or done to impress, but because, we’d assume, it feels right for that song. And so it sounds good to us. Meaning: this is still a great EOD EP. But here’s the context:
Track 1 is Sqaurepusher, Feed Me Weird Things-era. Straight up. From its raw production style to its brilliant mash of jazz and funk and jaw-dropping, burbling beats, it is a cut directly from that album. Just like when EOD does Bogdan Raczynski or Aphex, this is nothing to shake a protesting finger at – it’s a perfect song. The only knock is that it lacks those twists and tonal redirections that identify the artist; it is too perfect. In a world where I hadn’t heard Squarepusher: mind blown. In a world where I have, my mind is blown in a different fashion – that someone is able to so accurately compose a “new” song from a 20+ year old album.
Track 2 is some fascinating ambience. There is personality here, blending the organic with the electronic, and maintaining the rough production sound of the opener, the song simply doesn’t carry much weight on its own – its a linking track. Positioned between two singles, it definitely works, though its components are engrossing enough to merit a fuller exploration.
Track 3 meets between the previous two, and invites in even more defining EODness, with a melodious backbone and little, subtle quirks that become more apparent and rewarding – the track becoming even deeper, beyond its already impressive percussion – the more you listen to it. The knock here? It’s too short. Total backhanded knock, I know, but that’s where the context of these 3 songs comes into play: listen to just this song on its own, and it’s fantastic – it makes you want more. But as the cap to one tribute track and one inbetween track, it’s not a “conclusion,” it’s a palate-whetter.
So in this over critical analysis, perhaps it’s clearer why three great and / or interesting tracks can merit a 3 star rating when paired together. Does that mean you should hesitate to check it out? Dang, of course not.