Born in Manila, Philippines Idris "Eyedress" Vicuña moved with his parents to the United States at a young age in pursuit of the "American Dream." First to Phoenix, AZ and then transplanted to San Clemente, CA where over half a decade later he first entered the music scene playing bass in a Crass-influenced crust punk band called The Liberal Underground and indie rock band, Claud Winter. After years in the United States Vicuña found himself back in Manila where he would connect with his friends Julius Valledor and Diego Abad who together would form the band Bee Eyes. Vicuña learned the art of sampling through Valledor by making loops and mashing them up on the software Virtual DJ under the name “Castles Made Of Rad.” As their band started to gain more popularity, their bassist Diego Abad suddenly decided to leave the band to pursue his studies in Spain, which left Vicuña with lots of downtime to pursue a solo project which would eventually become Eyedress.
The first physical releases of this project came out on underground French indie-pop/shoegaze label “Beko” and his first ever record titled “Hearing Colors” came out as a collaboration between Beko and Berlin based label “Mater Suspiria Vision/Phantasma Disques.” Soon after its release, blogs started to pick up Vicuña's music and eventually found him an official record deal with XL Recordings imprint, Abeano. They would soon re-release “Hearing Colors” as a free mixtape and a 12-inch EP titled “Supernatural” which was praised by major publications such as The Guardian and NME. Coincidentally running into King Krule while in the studio gave birth to collaborative tracks on his self released “Shapeshifter” album which features King Krule under his Edgar the Breathtaker alias. Eyedress also contributed to Krule’s 2017 record “Ooz” where he recites a Krule poem in Tagalog beneath melodic keys on the foreground.
Because of Shapeshifter and numerous supporting write ups from Noisey and
The Fader, Eyedress’ music was discovered by legendary producer Prefuse73
who eventually got him a record deal with London based Lex Records.
Sitting down with the soft-spoken musician was both experiential and educational.
Exposure to his improvisational creative process allowed us to see how his brain
operates, especially while creating a rough draft beat exclusively for this
occasion. So many artists operate on feeling rather than formulaic
steps, allowing them to access their truest form of self-
expression. Eyedress is no exception.
“You know you’ll make something and in one week you’ll hate it. You gotta let it
pass the test of time…” Opting to create sounds through digital means as
opposed to the “live” Eyedress is able to create continuity within his
work, one reason he chooses to create sounds through drum
machines and software as opposed to
the traditional instruments.
During our conversation he reflects on his roots in the Philippines, where politics
and the country’s infrastructure create an environment in which one’s fellow
countrymen will sabotage your success in order to keep you from
moving forward. This lack of unity and a proper support system
is a common thread throughout the country. A lingering effect
of colonial influences from decades of outside involvement
in the country’s history. A flawed mentality he believes
should be abolished, especially since experiencing greater
Filipino love and unity in the United States.
Eyedress continues to create eclectic audio experiences accompanied by his own
extensive visual repertoire. Over time the artist's creative portfolio caught the eyes
of Brain Dead's Kyle Ng, Harajuku’s Big Love Records and London’s Boiler Room.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
"EYEDRESS: FROM MANILA TO LOS ANGELES"
©2019 BLENDS UNDERSTANDING OF NOTHING