cw // this article recommends videos that include horror imagery/blood and some references to depression/mental health issues, so if you choose to watch, please do so with discretion
DPR IAN, or Christian Yu, has quickly become one of my favorite artists, and my enjoyment for his music has only grown with the release of his EP “MITO”, or “Mood Swings in This Order.” While he was previously known for being the visionary behind DPR’s, or Dream Perfect Regime, music videos, he has now stepped into the music scene himself. Mito is what DPR IAN calls the other side of himself, the darkness inside of everyone that slips out unexpectedly. For the sake of clarity in this piece, when I am referring to the idea, I will call him Mito, and when I am referring to the title, I will say MITO. MITO, while only being eight songs long, encapsulates all of the feelings that Mito embodies to DPR IAN, and I recommend watching his short documentary (found on the Dream Perfect Regime YouTube channel) on the production of MITO to understand more.
The first piece on the EP is the titular “MITO,” a haunting soundscape filled with low, heavy beats and spooky vocaloid riffs. It lets the listener learn very quickly exactly what they are getting themselves into by deciding to listen to the EP, and is a great segue into the rest of the album.
“So Beautiful” is the first normal song on the album. Starting with the sound of rain and gorgeous string instrumentals, this track quickly identifies itself as unique. The empty chorus and DPR IAN’s charming voice melt into a funky brass section in the bridge, and I honestly couldn’t recommend this song more. His music video is fantastic as well, giving the watcher a taste of who Mito is.
“Dope Lovers” is the second track. It has more of a chill vibe that the DPR team is known for, and DPR IAN’s sweet voice carries the track through the highs and lows of a toxic relationship.
“No Blueberries (feat. DPR LIVE & CL)” is also consistent with the DPR chillhop sound, but the additions of CL’s mellow voice and DPR LIVE’s rap section really elevate the piece to be one of his most popular songs. The music video for this song is unexpectedly chilling and fantastic in terms of videography, so I would highly recommend checking it out.
“Nerves” is supposed to be the descent of DPR IAN into Mito, as seen clearly in the music video that was released on March 11 with the EP. The endless depression that Mito forms from is clear through the instrumentals and DPR IAN’s voice. This song has a bit of a mid-late 2000s rock vibe in the chorus that fits well with the angst of the song. The crescendo of the instrumentals and vocals into a short drop of “I’m doing fine” being chanted over and over again shows DPR IAN’s feelings through musicality in a way that is easy to appreciate. This song has a winding, endless feeling that leaves the listener feeling empty and tired, exactly the emotions that DPR IAN is trying to convey.
Next up is “Scaredy Cat.” It returns again to the more chill DPR sound, and something about the way that DPR IAN described the inspiration for the song being that he felt scared of everything resonated with me. His feeling of loneliness, of a shadow creeping behind your back, of disappearing into nothing, claws at the listener as DPR IAN croons his feelings out.
“Welcome to The Show,” feels like the culmination of Mito’s feelings, The classic rock-ballad instrumentals paired with DPR IAN’s angsty, soft voice allows the listener to feel embraced as he calls, “You’re Welcome to The Show.”
The final song is “No Silhouette.” It has a Spanish guitar accompanying layers upon layers of vocal tracks that sing “this is the end.” The guitar solo at the end can only be described as spellbindingly epic. Something about the swagger of the guitar fits so well with the character of Mito, from his slicked back hair to his leather jacket.
This album explores the blurred lines between light and darkness perfectly, and encourages the listener to “the other side.” While Mito may be separate from who DPR IAN is, he is also a part of DPR IAN, and something about the haunting nature of this EP fully captures DPR IAN’s struggles with accepting himself and Mito as one. I would highly recommend this album, as well as watching the music videos and the documentary to go along with it. To me, this EP is a slice of perfection, and I’m excited to see what DPR IAN will do in the future.