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Evian Christ|Revanchist

Revanchist

Evian Christ

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Early in his career, British producer Evian Christ's artful deconstructions of cloud rap (Kings and Them) and trap (Waterfall) caught the attention of the hip-hop world, leading to work on high-profile albums by Kanye West, Travis Scott, and Danny Brown. He signed to vanguard electronic label Warp in 2015, but instead of releasing music, his first project as a part of the label was an installation at London's Institute of Contemporary Art titled The Trance War (1998-Ongoing), focusing on an archive of memorabilia. His long-running Trance Party series has played a major role in reviving the genre, inspiring a fervent cult following with anything-goes events starring artists and DJs like Arca, Total Freedom, and Laurel Halo. The 2020 stand-alone track "Ultra," Christ's eventual first Warp single, was a cathartic preview of something major looming in the horizon. Revanchist is the artist's long-awaited debut album, and a culmination of everything he's achieved up to this point in his career, as well as a return to his roots -- his father was a trance DJ during the '90s. The record's first track, "On Embers," starts with aggressive power-drill beats but works in lost, fragmented R&B vocals and gentle, wisping arpeggios, then pausing for a tense, near-still breakdown before the beats slam back in. The Bladee-featuring "Yxguden" is more of a straightforward euphoric anthem, but it feels closer to a PC Music-style revision of trance than something Above & Beyond would play in a festival set. While Warp labelmate Lorenzo Senni's "pointillist trance" style mainly focuses on gleeful, glittering peaks and twisted neon melodies, Christ has a much more suspenseful, cinematic approach to the genre, with advanced sound design and journey-like song structures reminiscent of BT or Sasha, as well as the frequent incorporation of ethereal, usually female vocals. "Nobody Else" is the album's biggest club track, with a straightforward, thumping kick drum and rippling synth patterns graced by Elizabeth Fraser-esque singing. A cover of Delerium's Sarah McLachlan-sung hit "Silence" begins with slowly paced vocals, ambient whirls, and clomping footsteps (or horse hooves), then eventually reaches a dramatic storm of piercing synths and speedcore blasts likely to scare away most Tiësto fans. "Xkrygios" winningly manipulates rushing Amen breaks along with trickling pianos and an insistent voice repeating the words "and stronger." The slow-building "With Me" (featuring Merely) is one last all-out anthem before the ambient comedown "Run Boys Run." Warp never would've touched a trance record during the genre's commercial peak, but with enough distance from that era, it's easier to appreciate the music's creativity and ecstatic effects, with nostalgia also coming into play as a factor. Revanchist is a powerful effort from someone who's embraced this energy his entire life.

© Paul Simpson /TiVo

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Revanchist

Evian Christ

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1
On Embers
00:05:05

Evian Christ, Producer, MainArtist - Joshua Leary, Composer - G.O.O.D Music/Sony ATV, MusicPublisher

2023 Warp Records 2021 Warp Records

2
Yxguden
00:04:26

Evian Christ, Producer, MainArtist - Joshua Leary, Composer - Bladee, MainArtist - G.O.O.D Music/Sony ATV, MusicPublisher

2023 Warp Records 2023 Warp Records

3
The Beach
00:04:59

Evian Christ, Producer, MainArtist - Joshua Leary, Composer - G.O.O.D Music/Sony ATV, MusicPublisher

2023 Warp Records 2023 Warp Records

4
Nobody Else
00:06:36

Evian Christ, Producer, MainArtist - Joshua Leary, Composer - G.O.O.D Music/Sony ATV, MusicPublisher

2023 Warp Records 2023 Warp Records

5
Silence
00:05:01

Evian Christ, Producer, MainArtist - Joshua Leary, Composer - G.O.O.D Music/Sony ATV, MusicPublisher

2023 Warp Records 2023 Warp Records

6
Xkyrgios
00:06:25

Evian Christ, Producer, MainArtist - Joshua Leary, Composer - G.O.O.D Music/Sony ATV, MusicPublisher

2023 Warp Records 2023 Warp Records

7
With Me
00:07:03

Evian Christ, Producer, MainArtist - Joshua Leary, Composer - Merely, FeaturedArtist - G.O.O.D Music/Sony ATV, MusicPublisher

2023 Warp Records 2023 Warp Records

8
Run Boys Run
00:05:49

Evian Christ, Producer, MainArtist - Joshua Leary, Composer - G.O.O.D Music/Sony ATV, MusicPublisher

2023 Warp Records 2023 Warp Records

Album review

Early in his career, British producer Evian Christ's artful deconstructions of cloud rap (Kings and Them) and trap (Waterfall) caught the attention of the hip-hop world, leading to work on high-profile albums by Kanye West, Travis Scott, and Danny Brown. He signed to vanguard electronic label Warp in 2015, but instead of releasing music, his first project as a part of the label was an installation at London's Institute of Contemporary Art titled The Trance War (1998-Ongoing), focusing on an archive of memorabilia. His long-running Trance Party series has played a major role in reviving the genre, inspiring a fervent cult following with anything-goes events starring artists and DJs like Arca, Total Freedom, and Laurel Halo. The 2020 stand-alone track "Ultra," Christ's eventual first Warp single, was a cathartic preview of something major looming in the horizon. Revanchist is the artist's long-awaited debut album, and a culmination of everything he's achieved up to this point in his career, as well as a return to his roots -- his father was a trance DJ during the '90s. The record's first track, "On Embers," starts with aggressive power-drill beats but works in lost, fragmented R&B vocals and gentle, wisping arpeggios, then pausing for a tense, near-still breakdown before the beats slam back in. The Bladee-featuring "Yxguden" is more of a straightforward euphoric anthem, but it feels closer to a PC Music-style revision of trance than something Above & Beyond would play in a festival set. While Warp labelmate Lorenzo Senni's "pointillist trance" style mainly focuses on gleeful, glittering peaks and twisted neon melodies, Christ has a much more suspenseful, cinematic approach to the genre, with advanced sound design and journey-like song structures reminiscent of BT or Sasha, as well as the frequent incorporation of ethereal, usually female vocals. "Nobody Else" is the album's biggest club track, with a straightforward, thumping kick drum and rippling synth patterns graced by Elizabeth Fraser-esque singing. A cover of Delerium's Sarah McLachlan-sung hit "Silence" begins with slowly paced vocals, ambient whirls, and clomping footsteps (or horse hooves), then eventually reaches a dramatic storm of piercing synths and speedcore blasts likely to scare away most Tiësto fans. "Xkrygios" winningly manipulates rushing Amen breaks along with trickling pianos and an insistent voice repeating the words "and stronger." The slow-building "With Me" (featuring Merely) is one last all-out anthem before the ambient comedown "Run Boys Run." Warp never would've touched a trance record during the genre's commercial peak, but with enough distance from that era, it's easier to appreciate the music's creativity and ecstatic effects, with nostalgia also coming into play as a factor. Revanchist is a powerful effort from someone who's embraced this energy his entire life.

© Paul Simpson /TiVo

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