*2018 Album of the Year*
I have been following London-based producer Eun’s work for about a year now, having discovered him through his Soundcloud and his work with Bubblerap. Darkness Must Be Beautiful is his debut project, a soulful, experimental and textured journey through the mind of a one of the most talented musicians you’ll come across this year.
The first thing to note about this sublime body of work is the eerie undertone to it. With incredible lush and moody, almost meditative electronic melodies, the music feels like it it is flirting with darkness, something I do believe ties in with the overall concept and theme of this record. Tracks such as “Let You Down” and “Doubt” feel uneasy in tone, but the beauty of the compositions just capture a certain mood that is infectious to the ear. The former features ethereal synths and a spoken-word piece by Eun himself. The latter features Nubya Garcia on saxophone. Her presence is almost ghostly on this record, as her subtle saxophone melodies meander through be dominant, bass-heavy beat, giving it an unsettling and suspenseful tone. “Kocky” sounds dreamy, with its funk-driven beat and smooth spoken word piece that puts you in a state of calm. Georgia Anne Muldrow provides beautiful vocals on “Fox,” a more dynamic track with incredibly slick guitar licks and a bassline that just has a presence. “Do It For Love” features Bubblerap and Wu-Lu, another gorgeous highlight. But to me, the track that stands out the most is “Hard Phases / Tomorrow” featuring Nubya Garcia. The odd groove to this track what draws me to the track. The smooth vocals and the odd effects that are sprinkled throughout the track are then accompanied by a moody, sad, suffocating saxophone solo by Nubya. The last 50 seconds sound like something from a horror movie soundtrack, and I absolutely love the texture and tone of it. I may be mistaken, but that part might have been produced by talented producer Jake Milliner. “Clear” ends the album with an introspective and optimistic message from Eun, and is backed by bass-heavy boom bap production.
There’s so much more I can say about this album. At the time of writing, this is my third consecutive listen. At each one I pick up new sonic details that are hidden between the depths of this textured and musically rich body of work. An incredible album.
You can listen to Eun’s Darkness Must Be Beautiful below via Bandcamp, but don’t forget to support the talented musician!