Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Eden Project

EDEN, formerly known as The Eden Project is not an ordinary electronic music producer. You might have heard some of his music on different promotion networks in YouTube such as MrSuicideSheep, Koala Kontrol or others. That is exactly how I stumbled on his music. At first his work sounded like any other vocal chillout music similar to those channels' typical genre. But when I actually listened one of his song from start to end, I was ensured that I need to look up who the hell is this The Eden Project.

Behind the alias stands currently 20 years old Irish multi-instrumentalist wonderkid Jonathon Ng who was actually born in Hong Kong. At the start of his career, Ng's work featured more conventional music styles such as dubstep and drum and bass, until he began venturing into a more indie pop oriented style which also resulted in changing his alias from The Eden Project to just EDEN.

Jonathon began independently releasing tracks as The Eden Project in 2013, achieving great success through different promotion networks in YouTube.  Although Jonathon released various extended plays in this period, it's worth having a look at his first album Kairos, released in 2014. Kairos is the album, where you can hear Jonathon experimenting with new more alternative music styles. It is really hard to label this album with just one genre. Let's take two similar examples from this very same album: Chasing Ghosts and Kairos. If I had only two words to describe these songs, I would call it 'orchestral dubstep'. Luckily we are not limited to only two words and the album really is worth talking more about it. The usual pattern for songs on this album, and for his later work also, is that he starts off with calm and deep melody which is usually carried by violin or piano. At one point there will come in some semi-sad male vocals with deep and serious lyrics which perfectly carries on the mood of the song. It all builds up to a majestic dubstep drop which actually remains to be enjoyably melodic. One can really feel the influence from Flume, Ryan Hemsworth or Kygo. Although the abstract element is not as present in his work as in Flume's music, Jonathon manages to remain the overwhelming dramatical feeling.

The similar pattern seems to continue with following albums. But not every song he releases is gold - his following album Entrance is overshadowed by previous and following albums. Therefore, lets jump right to his next album called Bipolar Paradise. In this album, Jonathon makes the great leap forward with his song writing and singing. You heard me right, not only he can play 4 instruments and produce electronic music, he is also writing and singing his own lyrics and vocals. The best examples of that in this album are drowning, Man Down and Fumes. If you haven't realized yet, then the music he creates is definitely not cheerful or upbeat. This results in deep and mostly sad lyrics talking about failed relationships and drinking until the pain is forgotten. It is not much known to the public about his personal life or childhood, therefore one can only assume which kind of unresponded love or relationship issues Jonathon has encountered. But don't worry Jonathon, producing such beautiful lovesick anthems will get you someone eventually, if it hasn't already. So let's listen to one of his most popular songs so far and pay attention to the lyrics, which really take the dramatical feeling, initially created by the orchestral aspect, to the next level.

As we already heard in the drowning, the lyrics are really just about drinking away the pain caused by failed love. The title of the song basicly speaks for itself, although the title Man Down should sound emotionally even worse than drowning. Apparently the song really is 'emotionally worse' version of drowning. Therefore if one is heartbroken or depressed, he or she could really identify themselves in these songs.

The Eden Project is not only creating his own songs, but is also remixing and covering the existing ones. It seems that he really likes Michael Jackson, because when investigating his discography, one can see that he has tried to remix Billie Jean numerous times. Few months ago Jonathon actually released not the remix, but his own cover version of Michael Jackson's megahit. Needless to say, he managed to take a fast paced dance song and turn it into what almost sounds like a electronic ballade. Another great example is Beyonce's megahit Crazy in Love, which he turned into another cover of he and Leah Kelly singing a love duet song. In both cases, he slowed down the pace of the songs surprisingly well and adapted them to his own specific style.

After changing his alias from The Eden Project to EDEN, his style has changed a little less electronic and more indie-pop. The best example of that would be his latest extended play called End Credits. Featuring seven new songs which are much easier to listen than his previous extended plays and albums make him a little less unique. Although his change in style is not what I personally fancy, it enables him to reach to bigger audiances and gain more popularity. Let's just hope that he doesn't become another brick in the wall of spoiled-by-money artists, who only create music to the most generic taste. We also cant eliminate the option of him being the next Ed Sheeran or James Bay because he only has been out there on the lovesongs scene for a few years.

Although most of the songs he produced earlier are the combination of 'mad' and 'sad', he still has various experimental releases. In about 3 years, he has managed to release over 60 songs including some interesting collabs with Puppet, Pierce Fulton, Leah Kelly and Ryan Hemsworth. He also has his own record label called MCMXCV under which he releases his songs of EDEN period. Although there havent been new releases for few months already, according to his Twitter account, he is working on many projects at the same time and that it is worth waiting.

All his releases are free of charge and can be listened on Youtube or Spotify. I'll also leave you a link where you can download his whole The Eden Project discography which really is his crown jewel from electronic music point of view.

The Eden Project discography

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