Following a very open and expansive record, Deradoorian dives into a minimalistic state with Eternal Recurrence, exposing all the subtlety and emotion of her music.
Angel Deradoorian has been primarily known for her work with Dirty Projectors as well as participating in albums by the Roots, Boots, Brandon Flowers, and Flying Lotus, but her talent was fully exposed when she ventured out on her own with her debut EP Mind Raft. Even though the record was rough, it still displayed the potential of Deradoorian when it came to forward thinking, experimental pop music. Her debut album, The Expanding Flower Planet, fully demonstrated that effect, with Deradoorian acquiring diverse elements, strange rhythmic notions, and obscure scales to enrich her sound.
Following up a record that goes so far out, and one of such quality, is a difficult task, and many fall into the mistake of repetition, but Deradoorian did not make this error on her new EP, Eternal Recurrence. The music takes a turn for the introvert, reverting to the point of origin before all the additions and enhancements appearing in The Expanding Flower Planet took place. The vocals, as a result, are in the spotlight, and the minimal instrumentation provides an elusive background and aids in the narrative cohesion of this work.
Eternal Recurrence paints dreamscapes, existing beyond the physical realm. The ethereal vocal performance and the synths appearing in a delicate subtlety create this otherworldly scenery. The very manner in which the EP kicks off with “Love Arise” speaks to that effect, as the slow-moving drones begin to morph and craft this transcendental experience, while the layering of the vocal lines is performed brilliantly creating this illusionary sense, aiding in this elusive vision to come into form. But, behind the dreamy mood, there lies a deeper meditative quality that surrounds Deradoorian's work, something that follows the ethos and spirit of artists like Alice Coltrane. The longest track on the album, “Return-Transcend” showcases this feeling of ease, a sensation of being in a state of serenity. The drones and minimal additions are once more mesmerizing, and the subtle melodic phrases raise the atmospheric quality of the track, creating a magical journey through realms unknown.
Despite setting a specific tone and sticking with it throughout the album, Deradoorian still manages to deviate from the norm. This perspective is shown in “Mountainside” where a slight neo-classical tone begins to emerge, extending further the experimental sound of the artist. Similarly, “Nia in the Dark”, a song written for Los Angeles-based musician Nia Andrews, contains a folkish influence, not so much of instrumentation, but rather of progression.
Having made a return to the roots of her sound, Deradoorian appropriately names the title of the record Eternal Recurrence. Finding influence in the well known philosophical concept that has been discussed by thinkers such as Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, she takes account of her journey so far and chooses to return to the fundamentals. Instead of the maximalist sense, she explored in The Expanding Flower Planet, she dives into minimalism, exploring the very beginnings of her sound.
That is the transformation that fuels this 30-minute long EP, painting this journey in intriguing colors, and even though it might prove too much for a full record, it has hopefully provided her with enough knowledge to push forward into new territories.