#nowheretogo: Evian Christ – “Waterfall”

Image via Evian Christ
Image via Evian Christ

This song is part of a recurring post franchise called “Nowhere to Go,” where Young Cedar highlights dance music that might get lost in needless genre categorization or your overflowing SoundCloud feed.

Take a moment to realize that no one in music knew who Evian Christ was in 2011, he had only been to London once before February 2012, when he played a Tri-Angle Records warehouse showcase there, and only six months before Kanye West called him to get on the next plane to Paris for Yeezus (January 2013), he was “putting off music” to become a teacher. When he was signed to Tri-Angle on the strength of a few songs he casually uploaded to YouTube (“Drip” is supposedly the first song he ever made), he didn’t know the artists he was being compared to or that much about the label (besides Clams Casino being on the roster).

He started touring with Purity Ring in the US just days after he got his teaching certification and never looked back. Now his Waterfall EP, out March 17, is one of the most hyped releases of the first half of this year, and based on his admittance that it takes from both rap and trance, it will appeal to the wide audience he has watching him. He’s aware of the mixed crowd of listeners, and maybe he could have predicted it, telling FACT yesterday, “I think you can listen to Kings And Them alongside any rap album and have it make sense.”

It’s not the first “producer from non-major city gets discovered on the Internet and quickly blows up” success story, but it’s a significant one. Evian Christ was already in the spotlight (albeit “underground”) from the February 2012 release of Kings and Them, but being a producer on Yeezus‘ “I’m In It” got the hip-hop audience to listen (him and Kanye giving themselves Jesus-esque names seems serendipitous, too). Fittingly, Evian Christ also told FACT, ”I live for rap. Most of the music I listen to is rap. In some ways I only listen to other genres to keep me sane, when I need a break from hip-hop. I mean, if I had to listen to only one genre for the rest of my life, it’d be rap.”

While last November’s “Salt Carousel” got people excited for new music, “Waterfall” has elements of dancehall and seems to expand the possibilities of what the EP will actually sound like. He told Crack Magazine, “I’ve been going to a lot of noise and techno orientated shows, I saw Pete Swanson in London and that was a big influence on this EP. I went to see Vatican Shadow and that was inspiring in terms of abrasion, and allowing the volume to become something super physical. But I’ve been keeping the ambient elements in there. I’m trying to mesh something together which shouldn’t make sense.”

That sounds ambitious and exactly like what we fuck with. Because what in music even makes sense anymore?