The abstract samples and synths used on Belgian producer Loden’s The Star Eyed Condition (Circle Into Square/Fake Four Inc.) makes you feel like you’re jumping out of suspended animation and are finding yourself swimming in a pool or stutters. Whether it’s the warmth or the coolness of the water, you are comforted by the fact that it’s water, so you’re comfortable but unsure of where the current will take you. You close your eyes, open your ears, and wish for the best.
If the song that begins “About Busdriver With Colors” doesn’t sound like a urine stream on a Quonset hut, you’re not listening the way I am. Then the song gets thick and funky with Busdriver dropping lyrics about “vaginal lips underneath the leather soles” and blending that with seeing things with such vibrancy. As far as seeing, Ceschi finds himself in “Ceschi Is Seeing Straight” and moves into a direction that is anything but straight and/or narrow. Joëlle Lê, know for her work as Greetings From Tuskan and with Buck65 in their Bike For Three! project, gets a chance to work with a fellow Belgian and go gallivanting in a brilliant song that crosses language and music barriers. Hearing Doseone in “Future Confetti With Doseone” makes me long for what was cLOUDDEAD but he still retains his nerdiness, sarcasm, humor, and dopeness that has always made him who he is as an artist. The album wraps up with “A Letter To A Future Kid From Sole”, and if The Star Eyed Condition makes itself somewhat of an optimistic album, Sole’s track almost moves things in a pessimistic manner. As the title indicates, it’s a message to someone who is too young to be aware of the world, or someone who doesn’t exist yet, offering words of guidance on what to look out for in a big and scary world that will probably be smaller and scarier in the years ahead. He closes the song and the album with the lines ““My only advice is to catch the tone in my voice/and know the spirit lives on, even when it’s strangled and put in a box/you might think you’re alone, but I can assure you you’re not/it’s how everybody feels before a society cracks“. It is then that you realize this isn’t only a message to a future kid, but a goodbye letter to our past and everything it used to mean, when meaning meant something.
It is then when you realize The Star Eyed Condition is an album that is meant to be the optimism of a young child, starry eyed with nothing known but who gives him or her warmth and comfort. It is then you realize the album is the type of album that could not exist on a major label anymore, not with musical freedom being something old people used to do for shits and giggle. The idea that someone in rap music could get down in a non-hip-hop manner seems laughable, even though rappers are doing just that but are killing themselves inside for the paper chase that ends up chasing, biting, and killing them. The album is something that could only be done in electronic music, which tends to tear down walls as a mirror towards the walls being build by many. The Condition of those who are Star-Eyed leads one to wonder if it’s a condition that needs to be treated, or does doing things automatically make you a defect of the once cherished human condition? The sounds here are fun and danceable, but it leads to a moral that involves thought. Like the old song “Find The Cost Of Freedom”, a cost that was buried in the ground, if mother Earth swallows us, do we have to lay our bodies down or dust off the dirt and try to survive in something that seems better to not exist in? Music with thought can be a very good thing, maybe this will be the thought provoker.