Eunice Cazarez is an American-Mexican singer and painter, who has acted in several indie films. Dexuality Valentino is a musician, painter and writer from Manchester. Physically an ocean apart – they have never met, nor spoken over the phone. Working entirely in the digital domain, their shared experiences, via art and music, allow them to create their very own prototype of experimentalism. Formerly known as Dex and Eunice, they have truncated their denomination to a simpler, more penetrant, four letter word – DVEC. Signed to Jynni, a British independent record label based in Cornwall, DVEC recently dropped their “Automated Alice EP”, followed by the April 1st release, of the album, “Everybody’s Talking, Nobody’s Listening”. The latter also being available, as a strictly limited edition picture cassette of only 50 units.
First things first. “Everybody’s Talking, Nobody’s Listening” is an album that isn’t going to be for everyone and you shouldn’t feel bad if you can’t get into it at once. I actually suffered that feeling when I first picked it up, noting some constriction in my mindset. While we don’t always realize it – brainwashed by the conventional and formulaic Top 40 sounds – it’s oftentimes hard to set aside preconceived notions of where dissonance ends and music begins.
The way the beat forms, the way the rhythmic meter reads, the complexity of melody and harmony – or absence thereof, non-existent verse-chorus-verse structures, and so on and so forth. These are all elements sitting outside of our usual comfort zone, and hence challenges us to carefully listen, digest and analyse experimental music in all of its facets, if we’re to draw any, or full satisfaction, from the experience.
To be bluntly frank, “Everybody’s Talking, Nobody’s Listening” is not music for sonic wimps, it has its own aching anarchic beauty that would completely escape those who just come looking for a hook and a beat. To describe DVEC and more specifically this album to listeners who haven’t previously experienced this type of music, is truly a difficult task.
Suffice it to say that while the DVEC is clearly electronica, they push the limits of the genre, and even question the very rules of music. It may sound haphazard and disjointed to the uninitiated at first, but in actuality it is precise and deliberate music.
Upon first play, each piece with their strange names, like “Johnny That Shark’s Got A Knife” or “I Clipped My Own Wings And Fell Through The Earth”, may simply appear to be interesting or engaging works. Further listen often reveals that there is much more at play. Just pondering how the brain takes in these musical pieces and retains it at different levels, is one of the fruitful rewards of listening to this album.
DVEC are pioneers, exploring places so far away from the safe and snug bubble of all accepted musical knowledge that it can be scary at times for the faint-hearted. Once you’ve pressed play on the opening track, “Letting The Days Go By”, you will realize that currently nothing else is even in the same universe as DVEC, not even remotely so.
Continuously morphing soundscapes, echoing spoken-word narratives, and ever-changing percussive rhythms come at you in spades. There’s no dancing to be done here, intelligent or otherwise. In an ocean of stagnant and floundering creativity, DVEC have reached the shoreline of something new.
Their use of non-linear rhythms create a formlessness that is beautifully exemplified throughout this album. While on both “Automated Alice” and “Respect” – arguably the most accessible tracks on the album – linear percussion is the driving backbone of the arrangements.
There’s a logic to DVEC’s music, which you’ll sense immediately. You just can’t decipher it that easily, and that’s the real challenge of experimentalism. Notwithstanding the experimental or unconventional tags, emotional response, not complex process or technical prowess, is the goal in all great music, and “Everybody’s Talking, Nobody’s Listening” is indeed grand.