While most bedroom DJs’ back-stories border on the mundane, 23-year-old Filipino Idris Vicuna, who’s been stirring up buzz over the past two years with a series of spellbinding witch house tracks recorded under the guise of Eyedress, has quite the past.
Born in the ghetto of Quezon City, Metro Manila in 1990, the producer moved to Arizona and then California (when his animator father landed a job at 20th Century Fox), where he started playing in a Crass-influenced crust punk band, only to return reluctantly to his hometown with his family at age fifteen.
Following stints as a graphic artist, a fashion designer and director, Vicuna hooked up with film student Julius Valledor to form Bee Eyes, a lo-fi garage rock outfit who became minor Internet celebrities when they received a cease-and-desist order from Sub Pop over the use of the label’s logo on their t-shirts.
But after a couple of EPs, Vicuna switched his focus to producing “beats that didn’t make any sense” on his father’s laptop, attracted attention from the blogosphere with the glitchy electronica of Skint Eastwood collaboration “Salaamin,” and released a four-track collection, Half Japanese, inspired by the likes of J Dilla, Flying Lotus and Odd Future.
Still living with his parents in Manila – despite recently getting married to a model who resides in Japan – Eyedress has admitted he hopes his recent signing to XL offshoot Abeano will be his gateway out of the country. Support slots on Grimes and How To Dress Well’s Far East tours, guest appearances on mixtapes by New York rapper Le1f and South London DJ Oneman and the positive response to last year’s Supernatural EP suggests he shouldn’t have to wait too long.
Indeed, thanks to the drowsy chillwave of “Everything We Touch Turns Into Gold,” the throbbing Kavinsky-esque electro of “Tokyo Ghost” and the sinister bass-pop of “Nature Trips,” Eyedress has built up a reputation as one of the most intriguing and hypnotic new talents around, a position he’s likely to cement with his debut album, which is due for release later this year.