Marc Euvrie’s Myth trilogy has a sink-or-swing kind of ring to it. The first one, A Last Dance for the Things We Love, got things rolling with its own brand of doom and gloom finality. The second one, A Need to Survive, has desperation practically scrawled into all the song titles: “In the Name of Earth”, “To Rise Through Our Tears”, “A Need to Survive”, and the bewildering “There Is So Much Pain in This World That We Have Created Robots to Share It”. Eat your heart out, 19th-century romantics — wherever you are.
Euvrie, who goes by the moniker the Eye of Time, is a French electronic musician who is willing to throw anything and possibly everything into his pool of ideas if it helps at all to create a gigantic mood. And in a genre of music with many competitors who settle for laptop presets and looping beats to the point of tedium, the Eye of Time creates music that stands out in the best way possible. The frequencies run deeper, the mixes are ornate and intricate, and the ideas are simple enough to hum, yet it manages to sound like very little else in the field of electronic ambient music.
“There Is So Much Pain in This World That We Have Created Robots to Share It” starts off Myth II: A Need to Survive. That’s right, you’re getting thrown head first into the deep end. The foundation jockeys between just two chords, but it’s Euvrie’s additions such as a bass hum and an ascending violin that keep you from getting bored by just two chords. A trebly bit warbled over top it all, possibly an electric guitar or a keyboard, letting you know that a limitless sky hangs over these deep caverns. Lasting over six minutes, “There Is So Much Pain…” never overstays its welcome. In fact, it’s so compelling on its own, you may just want to hear it again.
Fortunately, you won’t need to — not right away. A Need to Survive is packed with equally compelling moments. “In the Name of Earth” is, again, built from a simple foundation. You’ve got two chords again, with a few passing tones thrown in to give the harmony some delightfully unexpected texture. This time, some kind of mysterious vocal loop holds everything together. It’s unclear if they are men or women, or both, in what language they are singing, and exactly how many of them there are. But like the first song, “In The Name of Earth” kicks you at a gut level as the pounding beat pushes forward with cymbals searing over top.
Though entirely instrumental, each and every melodic idea on Myth II: A Need to Survive has the potential to get lodged in your brain. It’s the result of such stunning and carefully made sounds joining forces with sheer repetition. You can’t help but get lured into a hypnotic state with each of A Need to Survive‘s six tracks, whether it be the quiet desolation of “To Rise Through Our Tears” or in the naked cries of Euvrie’s violin of the low-boiling title track. The closer “Notre amour est assez puissant pour détruire ce putain de monde” proves that even Marc Euvrie’s noisy squalls can be lovely. Two years ago, I said that the man behind the Eye of Time was “a musician who can make his music do whatever he needs it to do”. I make no attempt to change my assertion, though I will add that very few people can make such depressing music sound so happily beautiful.
And if that sounds like a paradox, welcome to your next unparalleled musical adventure.