One of the first posts I wrote after returning to this site post-decade-long-hiatus was about how nice it can be to encounter artists who long to hear more of one of their hero’s signature style so much they are willing to fully embrace reviving that style themselves. These artists are practicing a form of nostalgic manifestation that I can’t help but respect. It’s especially not fair to deride them as copycats if the artist’s style in question has been abandoned. They miss hearing new work by artists who are no longer productive (or exist in a new form altogether), so they put in the work necessary to manifest those unwritten songs’ existence. I know it might sound silly, but I think these dedicated emulators are doing the rest of us fans a true service.
Last time, I wrote about the Boards of Canada tribute album by members of the Kahvi Collective. There, it was a bunch of artists doing their best to summon the spirit of BoC. In this case, it’s one artist essentially imagining a sequel track to Aphex Twin’s breakthrough song, “On”. I hope Ear Mind Eye, an artist from Canberra, Australia, doesn’t mind me framing it this way, but I don’t say any of this as a slight. Richard D James’s style in the early 90s was deceptively simple. It’s easy enough to put all of the elements he was working with together in a pot, but it’s another thing altogether to bottle even a fraction of the lightning James did around that time. He isn’t going to return to making music in the style he was pursuing back then–despite his generosity in giving us so much new work after so long–so we should be thankful to the devotees who are willing to try. In this case Ear Mind Eye makes a noble attempt.
Grab the track on bandcamp, as part of the Instant Slack EP. Or find it on your local streaming service.
Ear Mind Eye – “Onism” (bc)