Evian Christ


Warp • 2023

He feels more stress in the classroom than he does producing. When Joshua Leary started his teacher training, he could hardly have imagined that a decade later he would be rocketing through Europe and the US, supplying beats and stems to some of the biggest names in international music. In the 2010s, he made a name for himself as Evian Christ, working with the likes of Tinashe and Danny Brown, but also lending his ear to the likes of Vatican Shadow and Ben Frost. Working for rap legends on the one hand, and with a penchant for fucked-up sounds on the other. »I record samples from YouTube and commercials as well as broken guitars and drums«—this eclecticism has remained over the years. A no-fucks-given attitude now courses through his debut album »Revanchist«, which deconstructs trance tropes with relish and offers a melodramatic cross-section of his previous work. From soulful voice samples to noisy beat attacks, the opener »On Embers« lasts for more than a few seconds, while the Bladee feature »Yxguden« fuses cloud rap and Eurotrance before culminating in an almost hardstyle climax. Nothing is repeated on this album, but everything is shot through the cognitive filter of a man who can easily put together a hundred tracks in a fortnight. If the musical urgency of an ode to unhappy lovers like »Nobody Else« or the layered breakbeat-fest »Xkrygios« weren’t so captivating, it would be easy to accuse Evian Christ of assembly-line production, gimmickry or a lack of understatement. But despite his detractors, that’s exactly what he’s all about: maximalism. Anyone who thinks this represents a case of style over substance should give Revanchist at least two more chances.