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28 December 2010

DeepChord presents Echospace: Liumin / Liumin Reduced (Modern Love)

Echospace is the collaborative effort of dub techno producers Stephen Hitchell (aka Soultek, from Chicago) and Rod Modell (aka DeepChord, from Detroit). Both producers have been releasing music for over a decade now, and their inspiration comes from the buoyant dubby techno of seminal acts and outlets like Maurizio, Basic Channel and Chain Reaction. The palette of sound should be familiar to anyone acquainted with that scene: crinkly textures and filters, a high amount of wet ambience, a deep pulsing kick, delayed, bulbous chords and bobbing basslines. To say that the music is minimal is fairly accurate; its strength often lies in its repetition, where the hypnotic quality of its patterns permits freedom to play with the details and the space surrounding them. Echospace is perhaps the strongest of all of these post-techno efforts, in that it combines the duo’s love of this history with something less immediate, less easy to describe. Liumin rolls in like a steady, calming rain, and that wetness persists throughout. It’s difficult to describe many of the album’s parts separate from the whole, because its 9 long tracks flow together effortlessly. It’s a long one, too, coming in just shy of the full 80-minute mark, and its 9 parts vary in dynamics, but it flows like a tide, in and out of view. “Burnt Sage” in particular balances between the pulse of techno and haze of ambience quite adeptly, ten and a half minutes of gloomy bliss, while “BCN Dub” has some highly abstracted horns under the surface, lending it a familiar yet alien quality. It’s a fantastic trip of an album, hanging mostly under the surface of what could theoretically pass as dance music… this lends it an aqueous, sublime quality that is more appropriate perhaps for late nights at home than it is for a crowded club. Special editions of the release come with a second full album of field recordings edited and mixed by DeepChord, furthering the idea of reduction and paring the tracks down to the barest atmospheres. Really handsome stuff from these two electronic veterans.

Watch/listen: Burnt Sage

Buy it: Boomkat | Amazon

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