Meet Joshua Leary, better known as Evian Christ. The 24-year old London-based ambient trance, hip-hop and dubstep producer who recently parodied Burial’s selfie and thank you message; appeared on Kanye West’s Yeezus; and whose confident and hard-edged Waterfall EP will have you wishing you followed your instinct and went and see him play all those random gigs at Corsica Studios last year, because it’s about to get a hell of a lot harder.
In just four tracks, Waterfall moves away from any earlier, ambient leanings in favour of a harder-edged, industrial sword. It seems that in the busy two years between releasing his first mixtape Kings and Them on Tri Angle records and collaborating with Kanye West, Leary has truly stepped up his game. Tracks on Waterfall avoid the lo-fi ambient, trappy, bass-heavy sensual slow-burners like earlier releases “MYD” and “Drip” in favour of eerie, dubstep heavy atmospherics.
Lead single “Salt Carousel” is jagged, aggressive track that utilisessome old rave tricks, slowing down beats to form a digital lope with way too many elements to list off. “Fuck Idol”, perhaps the weakest of the EP’s offerings, follows an industrial direction, but leads to nowhere. Thankfully, “Propeller”’s acid-pitched pitched melody, peppered with plunging beats and morphed vocals picks up the slack. Standout track “Waterfall” coalesces Evian Christ’s new direction – dubstep beats and samples cascade into a melancholic piano interlude with helicopter-esque overlays before breaking into heavy drum and bass.
Leary said that Waterfalls new direction came from seeing Vatican Shadow and The Haxan Cloak live and wanting to avoid the soft, palatable sensations that their music produced. As both the track and EP title suggests, Waterfall is massive and unyielding, and marks Evian Christ now as a producer who’s mastered both tactile and intricate beats.