A note on proper consumption: d’Eon’s LP is a headphone record. You are not advised to take this on your next boombox-over-shoulder stroll. There are many components that make music fun to listen to: melody, rhythm, harmony, arrangement. LP, however, is an exercise of one these subtler and more sensitive mechanisms: texture. In order to properly appreciate it, you either need excellent speakers or just a decent pair of headphones, just something that will properly represent the masterfully-crafted stereo images d’Eon has made for us here.
Now, with that out of the way, what else are we dealing with? This is a long record, about 70 minutes long, thereby earning its LP title (for the uninitiate: LP=long play). Most of the songs are also put together in such a way that each track bleeds into the next. LP in this way cultivates a sort of hypnotic relationship with listener, as repeated synth figures and vocal lines wash over your ears again and again. It’s very pretty. Just don’t come to it expecting some shrink-wrapped radio-ready tunes, because that ain’t happening.
There have been a number of articles touting LP as a concept album about the angel Gabriel living on the internet. It’s a weird idea, and one that remains weird as you listen to the record. Lyrically the album’s a bit awkward, with a few real clunkers like “I guess I’ll stay here, like fuckin’ Sisyphus”. In such a gentle oeuvre, f-bombs like these (and there are surprisingly many) kinda come out of left field and sound a bit embarrassing. I’m no prude, but it’s almost like hearing your mom swear, or something. The theme of technological trappings (emblematized by song titles like “My iPhone Tracks My Every Move”) is well-taken, however. As I said before, however, it’s the atmosphere that’s important, and d’Eon definitely knows how to create some evocative music. Despite its long playtime, LP never left me bored. The state it encourages is paradoxical: its soothing tones run in counterpoint to its thematic heaviness, leaving the listener to process simultaneous feelings of meditative stillness and unease.
Some highlights include “Signals Intelligence”, which has some awesomely propulsive synth lines and really effective uses of pitch-shifted vocals. Also, the much-hyped and blogged-about closer “Al-Qayimah” is certainly worth sticking around for. As its final seconds drifted away, I felt a sense of wonder: not simply at the music, but at the curious mix of serenity and unease it built. It’s worth finding out what it’ll do to you.
Tags: d'eon, d'Eon - LP album review, j. m. farr, Reviews