Ethereal dreams of Grunge: Abyss X in conversation
Ahead of a new album forthcoming on AD93, Freedom Doll out September 8th- we spoke to Abyss X about the roots and origins of the music and project.
Earlier this week a new single was teased by prominent London based record label AD93. The label is a frequent flyer – releasing some of the most interesting in leftfield experimental and underground electronic music. However, the latest release Freedom Doll from Abyss X out September 8th caught particular attention for its eclectic variety and ethereal appeal which clearly draws upon a number of influences and lived experiences.
Abyss X is the moniker of Evangelia VS. The new single is called ‘Torture Grove’ and was accompanied by the release of a music video which tells a story as follows:
“Abyss X is Gaia, or Mother Earth, struggling to care for herself and her child, Humanity, both appearing dehydrated and distressed residing in barren concrete ruins under a blistering hot sun. While traversing the broken concrete dunes in the heat, Gaia is confronted by a Ghost Rider, a predatory and featureless male figure. The two embark on a ride against a dystopian backdrop of endless polluting factories, barbed wire, and ship cemeteries. Gaia watches this destruction with searing pain and grief.”
The project is conceptual in nature – drawing upon a mixture of experiences and futuristic visions. As Abyss X explains:
“I choose the tools to work with to cast light on flickering ideas…”
Learn more about the new release below:
First of all, explain the concept behind the album? How did it come to fruition?
“I started composing the album during the pandemic so I feel like the culmination of numbness from the shock, uncertainty, frustration, loneliness and plain void that I felt as an artist and as a woman eventually fueled my writing. That was after a year-long creative block when I actually allowed myself to indulge in my craft again. This album basically chronicles a year-long writing process, it’s a learning curve.. from the emotional rollercoaster of short-lived romantic affairs and then falling in love, all during a really precarious time, to navigating life as an artist during that time…one day the gates cracked open, I embraced all the things, all the deep cuts and channelled everything into my lyrics and production as I craved to exist somehow in a form that did me justice, where I could give Freedom Doll. I had nothing to lose so I went all in.”
Your background has seen you live in a number of locations and environments – how did these places help forge your interest in music and art?
“Spending my early childhood in NYC definitely informed all my idiosyncrasies and my primal notions around music, culture and art. Relocating to Crete was a shock to my system, I had to reconfigure my understanding of pop culture and welcome a whole new set of social codes and trends that came with growing up in a Greek small town. It was a challenge to keep my original taste intact and my hunger for new inspiration satiated, it was a strange balance to keep but it definitely turned me into a nerd. I spent countless hours researching all the peculiar flavours that came outside of Greece’s small art and music bubble. Later when I moved to Athens to study I found my own little hub of weirdos and it was a very inspiring time for me that got me involved with the performing arts and film scene so by the time I was in my late teens I was already working in theatre and dance.”
As an artist you work across multiple disciplines, do you feel this is important and how do these disciplines interact and inform one another?
“I can’t imagine myself doing one thing, I need to creatively exist on multiple planes as I get very quickly over most things that I do.. so I need to keep the fire alive by continuing my self-taught journey and exploring different territories. My gut craves a timeless quality for my work, so I try to harness all the knowledge and teachings from previous artistic endeavours. That gives me a 360 view on a new project because especially when it comes to music a body of work is not one thing but an amalgamation of different crafts. Transformation is essential for the spark of earnest creative expression and I find it hard to embody that without moving between different disciplines.”
Your music features ethereal undertones – is this something you strive towards intentionally?
“I love a raw and contrasting sound. There’s something vulnerable and tangible about ethereal vocals, a disguised in your face attitude which makes them so attractive and captivating. I love to juxtapose ethereality with a grungier, punkier sound.”
Why do you make music? What would you do without it?
“I love how immediate music is as a form of expression. Having worked in different disciplines, I’ve seen how music holds that special magic to communicate a message clearly and directly to the audience. It really hits those emotional cords like no other art form. If I didn’t have music in my life I would have probably continued my journey in performance, movement and film.”
Why did AD93 seem like the right fit for the album?
“I liked the idea of releasing an album that is an unexpected sound for a label, I love to shake things up a little ..! As much as AD 93 is a diverse label, it is primarily an electronic label and I thought that Freedom Doll would be a nice switch up.”
What role does your personal life and experiences play in the writing of your music and its creative identity?
“If I choose to embrace a specific art form at a given time in my life, it’s usually an immediate reflection of my idiosyncrasy and emotional world at the time. Sometimes it’s visual, sometimes it’s more body direct and other times it’s sonic. I choose the tools to work with to cast light on flickering ideas I have, usually directly spawned from my personal life endeavours and gut spiraling realizations. You need to live a little, get your hands dirty, how else can you do the thing? I love psychedelics for this purpose.”
Who and what do you look toward for inspiration?
“Nature, love, pain, blood, sweat and tears.”
Buy the album HERE.