EVA808 – Oyuki EP [WPR021]

Knowing Eva’s demonstrated weakness for Japanese VHS scores, she once more recalls oriental fusions into her material (regarding her previous “Psycho Sushi” EP on Crucial Recordings or self-released digital “Old School Ninja” as examples). This time in the title “Oyuki” EP, she introduces an archetype of mysterious yurei and geisha (recurring in heritage of Japanese art), who either represents an esoteric spirit or a strong female character surviving against all odds. In times of coincidental and mindless sampling, this one is to pay attention to through its careful and meaningful messages hidden throughout the record.

A1 of the same title, welcomes the listener with a dark, unsettling sample, most likely originating in a cult TV series “Hissatsu”. The voice metaphorically talks us through the darkness of reality and cruelty of human nature, calling this world a shadow that chases itself into despair. The detuning pad enhances the unsettling undertone, leading into appropriately frantic drop into the track. The combination of low-end stomping resonation, ominous brass and occasional plunks of a sword, makes a visual, busy and impactive effect. The finalising sample opens up identification with the woman once left behind. The cinematic twist of “Oyuki” sets a ready, mesmerising background for the rest of the release.

Same side follows with “You Don’t” a harmonious and melodic piece, gliding on a reese bass with metronomical hats counting their way through the track. The whole structure is built around one vocal sample and same melodic motive which makes it incredibly hypnotic and emotionally powerful. The second drop returns with more characteristics of low bass and synthesized ‘squares’, marking its relationship to grime and dubstep. Reese gets replaced with more 808 sub punch that, although repetitive, makes the track evolve over and over again. Although next to other tracks on this record making much stronger impression with first listen, I found myself actually pressing “repeat” on this quite a lot, probably due to smart, harmonically looped, continuous melody.

The preview of “Empress” from Gundam’s Rinse FM rip left all follower’s of Eva’s music in anticipation, but for those who are new to Miss 808’s soundscape, this one should give a great idea of her capabilities: heavily loaded with artillery of percussive samples, unsettling strings and echoing breaths. The vintage soundtrack character of sampled violins, again brings the cinematic, aged taste to the record, while easily outstanding most of the modern sounding grime or dubstep releases in comparison. Patiently awaited, doesn’t disappoint in a full listen.

“Ro$e Gold” again rides us on a gliding, low bass opposed to airy, reverberant palette of vocal samples, swinging harmonic mood throughout the piece. Shifting from joyful to nostalgic, it certainly showcases the gentle, ambient side of Eva’s production. On the whole, the record tells a dual story of melodic reminiscence opposed to hefty, dark and bitter layers. Although altogether emotive, the “Oyuki” EP will outweigh most of conventional plates on a system.

Oyuki is out now and available from Redeye, White Peach, Juno, Intense Records and the White Peach Bandcamp Store.

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