Boomkat Product Review:
Chris d’Eon's first PROPER album in six years is a wild ride. Using the same instrument-mimicking tech that video game composers used in the PS1/PS2 era, he makes hyperreal baroque electronic music that sounds too clean, too perfect and too bizarre for comfort. It's reality-distorting stuff that ties the tongue-in-cheek surrealism of his contemporaries James Ferraro and OPN with the virtuoso sonic deconstruction of the SVBKVLT set and unbridled romanticism of "Chrono Trigger" composer Yasunori Mitsuda.
Almost expectedly for d'Eon and the reliably obtuse Hausu Mountain label, 'Rododendron' is an almost incomparably odd record. Built from cheap, completely dry and unprocessed wind sounds, plucks and choral voices, the album feels like parody and high art simultaneously. It's a smart commentary on electronic music's obsession with sound's status: nostalgic but decidedly uncool, virtuosic but not show-offy and awkwardly overfamiliar.
'Rodendendron' lurches from sounding like a courtly RPG dream sequence ('Rhododendron pt. I') to a baroque re-imagining of '90s R&B ('Cobra') or a soapy fusion of the two ('Poplar'). It's an album that's obsessed with our cultural torrent of themes and cues, whether that's in television, video games, movies or musicals. These motifs surround us and when laid completely bare, sound almost laughably corny. By stripping them down to nothing, d'Eon shows us the Emperor's naked form, but instead of laughing at it, celebrates it. It's a truly impressive feat that in the hands of a lesser artist would fail immediately. d'Eon meanwhile has succeeded in producing one of the most lavishly unusual records yer likely to hear this year.