Born Bek David Campbell it was evident that the stars were set for a career in the arts since father David is the highly respected Canadian-born musician who has worked on over 450 gold and platinum albums as arranger/composer and conductor while mother Bibbe Hansen is a former Andy Warhol starlet and latter-day musician herself. That didn’t mean his early life was of the silver spoon in mouth variety since the family resided in a rooming house for a while. The boy’s first inspiration was the blues, pure and simple – Son House, Leadbelly – and hip hop, Latino and psychedelia. Folk blues and finger picking guitar stylists were another fascination and he cut his lyrical teeth backing his busking with improvised verses that stood him in good stead when he moved to New York City and hooked up with the anti-folk movement who congregated on the Lower East Side and somewhat self-consciously set about rewriting the rule book.
Returning to Los Angeles, Beck made home tape collections for fun if little profit but enjoyed a break when his song “Loser” and a work in progress throwaway called “MTV Makes Me Wanna Smoke Crack” were aired on Santa Monica’s college radio station KCRW. An auspicious liaison with Calvin Johnson would see light as the One Foot in the Grave project by which time major labels sensed the kid was talented and he signed to Geffen in 1993, yet retained the right to record one-offs for independent outlets.
Typecast as a slacker spokesman Beck replied that he was hardly lazy since he’d work any $4 an hour job to make ends meet and with “Loser” entering the Top 40 his debut disc proper Mellow Gold confounded that perception for good. Stuffed full of goodies like “Pay No Mind (Snoozer)”, “Beercan” and “Nitemare Hippy Girl” the album ripped through the media, won five star A plus reviews and sold over a million copies in months. Cynics fell out of the trees and acolytes began lining up to pay homage to this image-slinging folk punk who didn’t seem to care whether you liked him or not (but kinda knew you were going to anyway).
Off the back of Mellow Gold the independent Stereopathetic Soulmanure set also sold well and One Foot in the Grave (1994) continued to finger Beck as a rising star even though it was actually recorded a year before. Check it out on the re-release where you find 16 additional tracks, 12 previously unavailable.
Still a cult figure really, Beck’s fortunes took another upturn on Odelay. Teaming up with producers of the day The Dust Brothers the ensemble crunched out a lo-fi masterpiece with hip hop funk colourations and a side order of psych rock. The whole thing is essential but consider some of the parts: “Where It’s At”, the epic “Devil’s Haircut”, “The New Pollution” and “Sissyneck” make this a kind of underground Thriller. Samples are from Sly & The Family Stone, Bernard Purdie, Them via Bob Dylan; mixes are from Mickey Petralia most often and Noel Gallagher on occasion. This album is definitely where it’s at; even the Beck directed videos were cleaning up. This remains Beck’s most successful album to date and is well loved by British audiences who made it turn platinum.
Mutations (1998) won him the Grammy for Best Alternative Album, although most eclectic is a far better description. After some traumatic personal times, including the death of his grandfather Al during the making of Odelay, Beck returned in chipper mood for “Tropicalia” but didn’t hide a darker, introverted mood on “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” (later covered by Marianne Faithfull with Beck producing) and “Cold Brains”, a wondrous power pop work out with Roger Manning, Jr, Joey Waronker and Justin Meldal-Johnsen underpinning the riffs like some new Hollywood royalty.
In keeping with his status the excellent Midnite Vultures makes full use of the session resources open to Beck: his father David provides arrangements while the guests range from Johnny Marr and pedal steel virtuosi Greg Leisz and Jay Dee Manning to the great banjo man Herb Pederson. Embracing strains of country rock, Bowie, Prince and Kraftwerk might not seem the most obvious way to follow Odelay’s alt.funk but new directions are still pursued for those who care to listen and the cuts “Sexx Laws”, “Nicotine & Gravy” and the slinky “Debra” are bang on the Beck-o-meter.
Sea Change is partially so-called because during recording it became apparent that Beck’s vocal range had deepened considerably allowing him a far wider sonorous attack. Anyone concerned that the sampling, turntable magician had disappeared needn’t really have done because while the songwriting is necessarily grown-up (he’s gone past the 30 is a dangerous age mark, after all) the simple, emotional approach to such gems as “Guess I’m Doing Fine” and “Lost Cause” are matched to the organic musicianship. Besides country Beck is no bad thing.
Guero reunited Beck with the Dust Brothers and found a space for Jack White’s bass on “Got it Alone”. Something of a sleeper outside of alternative circles, Beck purists reclaimed their man and marvelled at his use of vintage soul sampling from Ohio Players and Love Unlimited on the Philly funked up “Hell Yes” where Christina Ricci adds spoken word.
“Earthquake Weather” and “Black Tambourine” are equally special and the feeling is that Guero is a few years ahead of its time since it’s been name checked by Black Keys and White as a firm favourite. We recommend it and also point you towards Geurolito, the complete remix shebang, where the songs are given fresh legs and the new technology is embraced.
Information does just that. Available as the original and in a Deluxe 3-CD set with customisable artwork stickers, this all has the combo of quirky Beck-ness allied to a futuristic identity that crops up on the double meaning of “Cellphone’s Dead” and the downright end of the world spook song “Nausea” where the Stooges of “1969” meet some alien catastrophe on a video set and nothing makes much sense.
Dysfunctional reality is steadily creeping in and the “Timebomb” single prepares the way for the Modern Guilt album (2008) whose tracks “Chemtrails” and “Gamma Ray” don’t shy away from doomy surf pronouncements about apocalypse with production from Danger Mouse that might make uneasy listening for some.
No such worries about the recent Morning Phase where father and son collaborate on all the orchestral arrangements and there is a matching poignancy to the material. “Blue Moon” and “Waking Light” are some of his best work for a while – literally, considering the six year gap between albums – and betoken an artist who might have begun paying homage (albeit elliptically) to the rock greats of the past but who now stands revealed as their equal. Not to say that the sea change is complete, it just sounds like the best is yet to come.
Words: Max Bell
From its kaleidoscopic array of junk-culture musical styles to its assured, surrealistic wordplay, Beck's debut album, Mellow Gold, is a stunner. Throughout the record, Beck plays as if there are no divisions between musical genres, freely blending rock, rap, folk, psychedelia, and country. Although his inspired sense of humor occasionally plays like he's a smirking, irony-addled hipster, his music is never kitschy, and his wordplay is constantly inspired. Since Mellow Gold was pieced together from home-recorded tapes, it lacks a coherent production, functioning more as a stylistic sampler: there are the stoner raps of "Loser" and "Beercan," the urban folk of "Pay No Mind (Snoozer)," the mock-industrial onslaught of "Mutherfuker," the garagey "Fuckin' With My Head (Mountain Dew Rock)," the trancy acoustic "Blackhole," and the gently sardonic folk-rock of "Nitemare Hippy Girl." It's a dizzying demonstration of musical skills, yet it's all tied together by a simple yet clever sense of songcraft and a truly original lyrical viewpoint, one that's basic yet as colorful as free verse. By blending boundaries so thoroughly and intoxicatingly, Mellow Gold established a new vein of alternative rock, one that was fueled by ideas instead of attitude.
Words: Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Unlike Stereopathetic Soul Manure and One Foot in the Grave, the indie albums that followed his debut Mellow Gold by a mere matter of months, Odelay was a full-fledged, full-bodied album, released on a major label in the summer of 1996 and bearing an intricate, meticulous production by the Dust Brothers in their first gig since the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique. Odelay shared a similar collage structure to that 1989 masterpiece, relying on a blend of found sounds and samples, but instead of lending the album its primary colors, the Dust Brothers provided the accents, highlighting Beck's ever-changing sounds, tying together his stylistic shifts, making the leaps from the dirge-blues of "Jack-Ass" to the hazy party rock of "Where's It's At" seem not so great. Like Mellow Gold, Odelay winds up touching on a number of disparate strands -- folk and country, grungy garage rock, stiff-boned electro, louche exotica, old-school rap, touches of noise rock -- but there's no break-neck snap between sensibilities, everything flows smoothly, the dense sounds suggesting that the songs are a bit more complicated than they actually are. Most of the songs here betray Beck's roots as an anti-folk singer -- he reworks blues structures ("Devil's Haircut"), country ("Lord Only Knows," "Sissyneck"), soul ("Hotwax"), folk ("Ramshackle") and rap ("High 5 [Rock the Catskills]," "Where It's At") -- but each track twists conventions, either in their construction or presentation, giving this a vibrant, electric pulse, surprising in its form and attack. Like a mosaic, all the details add up to a picture greater than its parts, so while some of Beck's best songs are here, Odelay is best appreciated as a recorded whole, with each layered sample enhancing the allusion that came before.
Words: Stephen Thomas Erlewine
According to party line, neither Beck nor Geffen ever intended Mutations to be considered as the official follow-up to Odelay, his Grammy-winning breakthrough. It was more like One Foot in the Grave, designed to be an off-kilter, subdued collection of acoustic-based songs pitched halfway between psychedelic country blues and lo-fi folk. The presence of producer Nigel Godrich, the man who helmed Radiohead's acclaimed OK Computer, makes such claims dubious. Godrich is not a slick producer, but he's no Calvin Johnson, either, and Mutations has an appropriately clean, trippy feel. There's little question that with the blues, country, psych, bossa nova, and folk that comprise it, Mutations was never meant to be a commercial endeavor -- there's no floor-shaker like "Where It's At," and it doesn't trade in the junk culture that brought Odelay to life. Recording with his touring band -- marking the first time he has entered the studio with a live band -- does result in a different sound, but it's not so much a departure as it is a side road that is going in the same direction. None of the songs explore new territory, but they're rich, lyrically and musically. There's an off-the-cuff wit to the songwriting, especially on "Canceled Check" and "Bottle of Blues," and the performances are natural, relaxed, and laid-back, without ever sounding complacent. In fact, one of the nifty tricks of Mutations is how it sounds simple upon the first listen, then reveals more psychedelic layers upon each play. Beck is not only a startling songwriter -- his best songs are simultaneously modern and timeless -- he is a sharp record-maker, crafting albums that sound distinct and original, no matter how much they may borrow. In its own quiet, organic way, Mutations confirms this as much as either Mellow Gold or Odelay.
Words: Stephen Thomas Erlewine]
By calling the muted psychedelic folk-rock, blues, and Tropicalia of Mutations a stopgap, Beck set expectations for Midnite Vultures unreasonably high. Ironically, Midnite Vultures doesn't feel like a sequel to Odelay -- it's a genre exercise, like Mutations. This time, Beck delves into soul, funk, and hip-hop, touching on everything from Stax/Volt to No Limit but using Prince as his home base. He's eschewed samples, more or less, but not the aesthetic. Even when a song is reminiscent of a particular style, it's assembled in strange, exciting ways. As it kicks off with "Sexx Laws," it's hard not to get caught up in the rush, and "Nicotine & Gravy" carries on the vibe expertly, as does the party jam "Mixed Bizness" and the full-on electro workout "Get Real Paid," an intoxicating number that sounds like a Black Album reject. So far, so good -- the songs are tight, catchy, and memorable, the production dense. Then comes "Hollywood Freaks." The self-conscious gangsta goof is singularly irritating, not least because of Beck's affected voice. It's the first on Midnite Vultures to feel like a parody, and it's such an awkward, misguided shift in tone that it colors the rest of the album. Tributes now sound like send-ups, allusions that once seemed affectionate feel snide, and the whole thing comes off as a little jive. Musically, Midnite Vultures is filled with wonderful little quirks, but these are undercut by the sneaking suspicion that for all the ingenuity, it's just a hipster joke. Humor has always been a big part of Beck's music, but it was gloriously absurd, never elitist. Here, it's delivered with a smug smirk, undercutting whatever joy the music generates.
Words: Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Beck has always been known for his ever-changing moods -- particularly since they often arrived one after another on one album, sometimes within one song -- yet the shift between the neon glitz of Midnite Vultures and the lush, somber Sea Change is startling, and not just because it finds him in full-on singer/songwriter mode, abandoning all of the postmodern pranksterism of its predecessor. What's startling about Sea Change is how it brings everything that's run beneath the surface of Beck's music to the forefront, as if he's unafraid to not just reveal emotions, but to elliptically examine them in this wonderfully melancholy song cycle. If, on most albums prior to this, Beck's music was a sonic kaleidoscope -- each song shifting familiar and forgotten sounds into colorful, unpredictable combinations -- this discards genre-hopping in favor of focus, and the concentration pays off gloriously, resulting in not just his best album, but one of the greatest late-night, brokenhearted albums in pop. This, as many reviews and promotional interviews have noted, is indeed a breakup album, but it's not a bitter listen; it has a wearily beautiful sound, a comforting, consoling sadness. His words are often evocative, but not nearly as evocative as the music itself, which is rooted equally in country-rock (not alt-country), early-'70s singer/songwriterism, and baroque British psychedelia. With producer Nigel Godrich, Beck has created a warm, enveloping sound, with his acoustic guitar supported by grand string arrangements straight out of Paul Buckmaster, eerie harmonies, and gentle keyboards among other subtler touches that give this record a richness that unveils more with each listen. Surely, some may bemoan the absence of the careening, free-form experimentalism of Odelay, but Beck's gifts as a songwriter, singer, and musician have never been as brilliant as they are here. As Sea Change is playing, it feels as if Beck singing to you alone, revealing painful, intimate secrets that mirror your own. It's a genuine masterpiece in an era with too damn few of them.
Words: Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Ever since his thrilling 1994 debut with Mellow Gold, each new Beck album was a genuine pop cultural event, since it was never clear which direction he would follow. Kicking off his career as equal parts noise-prankster, indie folkster, alt-rocker, and ironic rapper, he's gone to extremes, veering between garishly ironic party music to brooding heartbroken Baroque pop, and this unpredictability is a large part of his charm, since each album was distinct from the one before. That remains true with Guero, his eighth album (sixth if you don't count 1994's Stereopathetic Soul Manure and One Foot in the Grave, which some don't), but the surprising thing here is that it sounds for all the world like a good, straight-ahead, garden-variety Beck album, which is something he'd never delivered prior to this 2005 release. In many ways, Guero is deliberately designed as a classicist Beck album, a return to the sound and aesthetic of his 1996 masterwork, Odelay. After all, he's reteamed with the producing team of the Dust Brothers, who are widely credited for the dense, sample-collage sound of Odelay, and the light, bright Guero stands in stark contrast to the lush melancholy of 2002's Sea Change while simultaneously bearing a knowing kinship to the sound that brought him his greatest critical and commercial success in the mid-'90s. This has all the trappings of being a cold, calculating maneuver, but the album never plays as crass. Instead, it sounds as if Beck, now a husband and father in his mid-thirties, is revisiting his older aesthetic and sensibility from a new perspective. The sound has remained essentially the same -- it's still a kaleidoscopic jumble of pop, hip-hop, and indie rock, with some Brazilian and electro touches thrown in -- but Beck is a hell of a lot calmer, never indulging in the lyrical or musical flights of fancy or the absurdism that made Mellow Gold and Odelay such giddy listens. He now operates with the skill and precision of a craftsman, never dumping too many ideas into one song, paring his words down to their essentials, mixing the record for a wider audience than just his friends. Consequently, Guero never is as surprising or enthralling as Odelay, but Beck is also not trying to be as wild and funny as he was a decade ago. He's shifted away from exaggerated wackiness -- which is good, since it wouldn't wear as well on a 34 year old as it would on a man a decade younger -- and concentrated on the record-making, winding up with a thoroughly enjoyable LP that sounds warm and familiar upon the first play and gets stronger with each spin. No, it's not a knockout, the way his first few records were, but it's a successful mature variation on Odelay, one that proves that Beck's sensibility will continue to reap rewards for him as he enters his second decade of recording.
Words: Stephen Thomas Erlewine
When all is said and done, Beck's Guero might be the quintessential album of 2005. Not the best, nor the one that captured the sound of the year, but the album that illustrates that in 2005, there was no such thing as a finished album -- that a set of songs could be packaged and repackaged in so many forms, it never really seems to exist as a finished work. That's because in the course of the year there were roughly five different incarnations of the album. At the beginning of the year, the unfinished album was leaked on the Internet, causing such a commotion that it was reviewed on the front page of Salon. A couple months later, the album was officially released as a 13-track edition, along with a greatly expanded 20-track special edition, containing a few remixes and several songs that didn't appear on the 13-track album but did appear on the leaked bootleg. Then, after a couple of import editions containing various bonus tracks, Guerolito appeared at the end of the year. Guerolito is a remix of the entire album, with each track being remixed by a different act, including Air, Boards of Canada, Octet, and Ad-Rock. Sometimes these songs bear different titles than their source material -- "E-Pro" became "Ghost Range," for instance; this practice was in place for the deluxe version of Guero as well -- and Guerolito itself had its own alternate edition, which was packaged and sequenced slightly differently from its main edition, plus an import with a bonus track. All this packaging and repackaging, mixing and remixing, titling and retitling has the effect of diluting a good set of songs by Beck -- there may be many ways of enjoying these songs, but having them exist in different physical and musical forms makes them harder to grasp, not easier to appreciate. And while the mixes on Guerolito are, by and large, good, they neither illuminate the original songs, nor do they offer much new -- they don't expand the songs, they still try to keep the basic structure in place, so it's not a good showcase for the remixers. Instead, they just reconfirm the suspicion that this set of songs was never quite finished or sequenced, it was just released. And while that may be a very 2005 experience, that doesn't mean that each grouping makes for satisfying listen. After all, given all the capabilities you have at home these days, why not make your own mixes and play lists of the Guero material? The deluxe edition of Guero even gives you the ability to remix it on your computer -- which means there may be many more versions than five of this album floating out there in the ether.
Words: Stephen Thomas Erlewine
At first glance, it seems like the teaming of Beck and Danger Mouse is a perfect pairing of postmodern pranksters, as neither musician has shaken the first impression he's made: for most, Beck is still seen as that ironic Loser, trawling through pop culture's junk heap, while Danger Mouse is the maverick of The Grey Album, the mash-up of the Beatles and Jay-Z that reads like a joke but doesn't play like one. Close listening to either man's body of work easily dispels these notions, as Beck has spent as much time mining the murky melancholia of Mutations as he has crafting neon freakouts like Midnite Vultures. He's made a career bouncing from one extreme to the other, occasionally revisiting the cut 'n' paste collage that would have seemed like a natural fit for the sample-centric Danger Mouse, but when he partnered with Danger Mouse in 2008, Beck's pendulum was swinging away from the Odelay aesthetic, as he spent two records on the lighter side, thereby dictating a turn toward the dark. As it happens, this is Danger Mouse's true forte, as his productions have almost uniformly been dark, impressionistic pop-noir, whether he's working with Damon Albarn on the Gorillaz or the Good, the Bad & the Queen, or collaborating with Cee-Lo as Gnarls Barkley (whose fluke hit "Crazy" had nasty rumbling undercurrents) or even blues-rockers the Black Keys. So, he turns out to be a perfect fit for Beck, just perhaps not in the way that many might expect, although the title of their album Modern Guilt should be a big tip-off that these ten tracks are hardly all sunshine and roses.
Compared to the waves of grief on Sea Change, Modern Guilt trips easily, as this is a deft tapestry of drum loops, tape splices, and chugging guitars pitched halfway between new wave and Sonic Youth. This may not brood but it's impossible to deny its heaviness, either in its tone or its lyrics. Beck peppers Modern Guilt with allusions to jets, warheads, suicide, all manners of modern maladies, and if the words don't form coherent pictures, the lines that catch the ear create a vivid portrait of unease, a vibe that Danger Mouse mirrors with his densely wound yet spare production. As on his work with Albarn and the Black Keys, Danger Mouse doesn't impose his own aesthetic as much as he finds a way to make it fit with Beck's, so everything here feels familiar, whether it's the swinging '60s spy riff on "Gamma Ray," the rangy blues on "Soul of Man," the stiff shuffle of the title track, or the thick and gauzy "Chemtrails," which harks back to the sluggish, narcotic psychedelia of Mutations. Danger Mouse assists not only with execution but with focus, pulling in Modern Guilt at just over half an hour, which is frankly a relief after the unending sprawl of The Information and Guero. Its leanness is one of the greatest attributes of Modern Guilt, as every song stays as long as it needs to, then lingers behind in memory, leaving behind a collection of echoes and impressions. If anything, Modern Guilt may be just a little bit too transient, as it doesn't dig quite as deep as its subjects might suggest, but that's also par for the course for both Beck and Danger Mouse: they tend to prefer feel to form. Here, they deliver enough substance and style to make Modern Guilt an effective dosage of 21st century paranoia.
Words: Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Often pigeonholed as being prolific to a fault, Beck took an extended break from recording after the 2008 release of Modern Guilt. He kept himself busy, producing acclaimed albums for Charlotte Gainsbourg, Thurston Moore, and Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, blowing off steam via his mischievous Record Club (an online series where he and his friends covered classic albums), and then easing back to original songwriting through the ambitious Song Reader project, a folio containing sheet music for 20 unrecorded songs. He also suffered a spinal injury in 2008, a fact not publicized until he was ready to release Morning Phase, his first album in six years, early in 2014. As Morning Phase is a slow, shimmering album deliberately in the vein of classic singer/songwriter LPs, it's easy to think of it as a pained, confessional sequel to Sea Change, the 2002 record written and recorded in the wake of a painful romantic breakup. Beck didn't shy away from these comparisons, calling it a "companion piece" to his acclaimed 2002 LP, and as "Morning" glimmers into view, sounding for all the world like "Golden Age," it almost seems as if Beck covered himself as part of the Record Club. Morning Phase soon develops its own distinct gait, one that's a little more relaxed than its cousin. Crucially, Beck has swapped sorrow for mere melancholy, a shift in attitude that makes this 2014 album sweeter than its predecessor, a distinction sometimes distinguished by moments where words, traditionally the sadness signifiers for sensitive troubadours, are washed away by cascading waves of candy-colored sound. Underneath this warm, enveloping aural blanket lie some sturdily constructed compositions -- the haunting "Heart Is a Drum," bringing to mind memories of Nick Drake; the loping country-rock "Say Goodbye" and its sister "Country Down"; "Blue Moon," where the skies part like the breaking dawn -- but the abiding impression left from this album is one of comfort, not despair, which makes Morning Phase distinctly different than its companion Sea Change.
Words: Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Some things in life are certain, such as Beck's 2012 collection of sheet music eventually winding its way to record. It did roughly 19 months after its December 2012 publication, appearing in the summer of 2014 as a charity album presented by hipster eyeglass firm Warby Parker for the benefit of Dave Eggers' 826 National educational charity. This record is culled from star-studded live performances supervised by Beck and Randall Poster, who is best known as the music supervisor on Wes Anderson films, so this record hits many of the tasteful signifiers of new millennial hipsterism and, appropriately, it's immaculately curated, capturing a carefully sculpted neo-retro feel where everything new evokes the past. Several of the featured musicians do make it their specialty to construct an invisible bridge to the past, and these are the artists whose interpretations are the most striking on Song Reader: Jack White shambles through the blues on "I'm Down," Jarvis Cocker milks all the drama out of "Eyes That Say 'I Love You'," Jeff Tweedy gets dreamy on "The Wolf Is on the Hill," Jason Isbell tears through "Now That Your Dollar Bills Have Sprouted Wings" like he was playing a roadhouse, Eleanor Friedberger slyly sells the carnivalesque elements of "Old Shanghai," and Norah Jones brings "Just Noise" into her own uptown cabaret wheelhouse. These are all peers of Beck, all alt-rockers raised on pop and punk sharing an affection for both, so they fit neatly where the newer acts -- ranging from relatively unknown Moses Sumney and Gabriel Kahane to new sensations fun. -- are entirely polite, succumbing to the suggestions of Poster and Beck and winding up sounding a bit too precious. The old guard provides a needed tonic to this deference, sounding vulgar and vital as they take Song Reader's inspirations seriously: David Johansen brings "Rough on Rats" to a speakeasy, Sparks' electro arrangement of "Why Did You Make Me Care?" recalls the theatricality of vaudeville, Swamp Dogg appears unaffected by all the shenanigans, Loudon Wainwright III kicks up an old-fashioned singalong with "Do We? We Do," while Marc Ribot strolls through back pages on "The Last Polka," creating perhaps the most authentic moment on this highly stylized endeavor. If the recorded Song Reader is a hodgepodge, perhaps that was inevitable: Beck wrote these songs to capture many different styles and they weren't necessarily meant to be played back to back in front of an audience -- they were meant to be learned at home and brought out into the world. Having the songs preserved on record undercuts that intention slightly but this is still an odd, delightful collection of tunes and it's nice that non-musicians -- and listeners with an aversion to homemade YouTube renditions -- get to hear these now too.
Words: Stephen Thomas Erlewine