Eyesix – Limerence

coverWe recently reviewed a Sparkwood Records release, Scyye’s Timegazing. We absolutely loved it, so naturally we were thrilled when we were contacted by Scyye’s fellow Sparkwood artist eyesix about his debut EP. Could this be the birth of another heavyweight IDM netlabel dynasty? We certainly hoped so. Let’s see if our enthusiasm was justified.

The sparkwood website brings us up to date on eyesix, the alias of Jason Dowd:

Eyesix is a producer of ambient electronic music based in Galway, Ireland. Heavily influenced by bands such as Boards of Canada and Tycho, amongst others. Nature, psychedelics and a love for all things retro and vintage, are some key elements reflected in his music. Eyesix also creates videos to accompany his tunes, believing it to provide a far more powerful experience. He is also a graphic designer and does his own artwork for releases.

I especially noticed the last part, and it shows. Eyesix’s facebook page is full of images and photographs that show great attention to detail. The cover image for ‘Limerence’ is the same: not wildly spectacular, but instead exhuming a quiet, dignified sense of beauty. The love for retro is apparent from the choice of colours, and the subject matter. To showcase the graphical dimension of the release, we added the music video of ‘Sunset on Skyscrapers’ as a preview track.

Boards of Canada being a huge influence on the work of eyesix is rather obvious from the first time one listens to ‘Limerence’. When asked about any other influences, eyesix mentions he just loves that downtempo, nostalgia vibe which can be found in the work of Christ, Fieldtripq, Freescha or Tychoand, and tries to get that across in some of his music. Other influences would be nature, as he incorporates some nature field recordings in certain tracks, and many of the videos he has made consist of old 16mm/8mm footage of vintage wildlife documentaries.

It’s always risky to mention the big names as influences, because comparisons are wont to follow. However, using only a minimal setup of a laptop with Reason 5, a pair of Audio Technica M-50s, some monitors and a midi keyboard, eyesix has created a sound which is truly grand.
‘Limerence’ is a wonderful downtempo release. For me personally, ‘Maryland’ is probably the most reminiscent of BoC. Rounded, pleasant and very warm-sounding synth lines are complemented by a drum track which is both amplifies their soothing quality, and adds an unmistakable element of groove to the track.
‘Idaho Transfer’ is a bit of the odd one out. Its sound strays somewhat from the rest of the album. The overall atmosphere of the track is a bit more menacing. Think the dark tracks on Aphex’s Selected Ambient Works Vol.2. The percussion elements are slightly different as well.
All in all, this is an astounding piece of work. High-quality releases like this have firmly put Sparkwood Records on the map as a force to be reckoned with in the IDM landscape. We are eagerly awaiting more from both Eyesix and Sparkwood. Highly recommended listening!

Eyesix – Sunset on Skyscrapers


Release Page
Eyesix Soundcloud
Sparkwood Records Site
Sparkwood Records Bandcamp
Sparkwood Records Facebook

This review was originally published on netlabelism.com, an online music magazine covering netlabel culture and releases. I was editor for the magazine from January 2011 until December 2014.