Top 2011 Albums
15. Egyptrixx - Bible Eyes
Ever heard a sound that sounds really weird and interesting and you would love to hear more of it but it only lasted a mere second? Like, maybe that time an engine was running loud while you are passing quickly a la Doppler Effect? Or like, that time the TV got stuck on a loop while you were watching Dexter’s Lab and Dee Dee kept making this weird sound? Bible Eyes is filled with these kinds of effects.
My first thought when I was about to review Bible Eyes was “I have no idea what I think about this; but I know that I think a lot of things about it.” Bible Eyes was also an album I picked randomly from a blog I stumbled upon; I have virtually no context for it other than the listening itself. I don’t know how Egyptrixx creates his music or what people think of his album, and I kind of enjoy this isolation.
Bible Eyes is sticky. The dissonant elements are often off-putting, like the airy melodies that float over a throbbing bass and snares. It’s not catchy, but the melodies stick like earworms. That awful screechy lead melody that’s the main theme of “Barely” is exactly the kind of thing I love about record. This off-putting lead synth is present in every track; it’s the propeller of the Bible Eyes. It feels very obvious, but at the same time it sounds like nothing I’d ever heard before. It forces its place into the track, like a jigsaw hammered in the wrong place, and the friction it produces amongst the rest of the elements is extremely liberating.
Passages of the album force an absent-like state of mind. Going through “Naples” is necessarily an act of naivety. The initial synth is calming, and it grows and shrinks pleasantly through the song, but the track distorts beyond comfort and snatches away any settlement I had gained through any of its sections. The wobbly “Rooks Theme” follows right after, and is atonal until the moment the arpeggiated synth comes along the 1:40 mark. Bible Eyes is an enveloping mantle of sounds that transforms up and down and traps me like a sticky web.
Not even when vocals are involved do the tracks form a completely harmonious structure. There’s something that’s creating friction, all under the layers of bass, drums and synthetic oddities. The assaulting snares and watery synths in “Fuji Club (feat Trust)” perpetuate the feeling of dissonance, adding to the detached singing. The auto-panned vocals in “Chrysalis Records (feat Trust)” make an odd duo to the melodious synth that’s sneaking up behind kicks and bass.
However odd these tracks may feel after inspection, they do feel cohesive. All along, that’s the reason they are able to make a big impression, the reason they manage to feel danceable and invigorating. “Liberation Front” is a progressive journey through all stages of weirdness of Egyptrixx, while sporting a funkiness that’s nothing but alluring. Bible Eyes, even through its idiosyncrasies, never alienates. It grows and shrinks and wobbles and stretches like gum. It sticks.