Having emerged from within the FatKidOnFire crowd, mysterious Eva808 debuted with her first physical release on Encrypted Audio last year, capturing attention of those, who favour innovation. Resulting in a complete sell out, ENV001 became an exclusive copy to own. Not bad for a start? Previously appearing on Indigo Movements with her stunning “Childhood EP” and being present in FKOF compilations, uploads and mixes, also before she started producing under current alias. Inside a male-dominated scene, EVA808 stands out, with her unique productions, going from strong, experimental grime beats (“Duality”, forthcoming “Empress”) through to beautifully sampled, atmospheric madness (“Rainy Mood”), to her take on industrial, techno-esque sound (“Kompla”). In this short period of time, she has already shown her expanding styles and skills, retaining her signature, bitter-sweet contrast of round bass and tight, crackling percussions. A combination of both the heavy and the charming.
After firing off with her first big releases, Eva disappeared for a year, leaving her freshly hyped up fans brimming with anticipation. Teasing us with few short radio rips and intriguing video snaps, she returns with a series of sub-indulging pieces, all from a different 140 territory. As for CRUCIAL006, this time Eva is slowing down and giving us more eclectic compilation of tracks, taking us for a lazy wander through a jazzy, smoky underground space, that fits perfectly into one of Crucial Recording’s rooms. The A-side serves a mix of square waves and humming wobs – two sounds Eva has already mastered in her more grimey material. With its simplicity, “Psycho Sushi” presents a very classic, slow dubstep sound, with regular, gentle percussions. The various female vocals spice up its character once on the rasta, once on the dance music side, while the melody is pacing slowly on its heavy, bassy legs, rolling on sprung drums, very familiar to Crucial sound.
On the flip-side, we’ve got a couple of tasty tracks. “Selecta” is an unsettling, dark, suspenseful tune, filled with live samples and scattered delays that help build a wonky and almost intoxicated atmosphere. All that is built on a regular, walking bassline that keeps the grip of the tune. Very unsteady, gloomy and nocturnal. “Loner” is the essence of “Psycho Sushi EP” and fusion of all its moods. It starts off with glorious, progressive chords, that drop straight into a dismal, heavy, shaken melody. Again, with live samples of guitar and drums, what gives the track completely different meaning of “dark dubstep”. The stripped back , very minimal and cold percussion, in the middle get twisted with a bit of a junglist motive. Other sounds shaken up and sprung by pitching delays make the whole picture confusing and unsettling, in a very pleasing way.
Overall, CRUCIAL006 is a pretty unusual one. After Eva’s take on grime, this one comes as a bit of a surprise. What’s always a good omen, it wins you over after few deeper listens, making it much more than a compilation of “digestible bangers”. With its dark, bewildering gloominess, I can only conclude if David Lynch made dubstep with an effeminate twist, “Psycho Sushi” would be the outcome.