Echaskech: Origin (Just Music)
Echaskech’s sound is lush and large, with a strident pace and full electronic arrangements that would make Apparat proud. Origin works well as a musical narrative in sequence, with crests and valleys in dynamics to match its moody disposition. “Scanners,” “Ash Fallen,” and “Metic” are each big, full of drama, swelling with grace and smoldering with a deep glow. “Paper Scissors,” by contrast, has an almost elegiac quality to it, with warbly melodic leads that recall the light haze of Boards of Canada amidst the crisper rhythm tracks that are more distinctly their own in sound. Some of the tracks have an epic feeling that recalls heavier handed acts like the Glitch Mob, but Echaskech’s sonic palette feels more delicate and harks back more to 2000-era beatmaking for me. That combination of intricate rhythmic detail and emotive, evocative melodic arrangements feels simultaneously like a throwback to IDM’s post-Tri Repeatae golden age and like a nod toward to emotive genre-mashing that artists like Apparat, Telefon Tel Aviv, and Trentemøller are exploring.
There are tinges of that flirtation with post-rock that an act like Tycho has also recently more fully embraced; “Anomie” closes out Origin with a more human touch of guitar over its aspirational arrangement. In writing, I find it hard to describe Origin without dropping names and other references, but rest assured that for me the result is far better and greater than the sum of its parts. From start to finish, it’s excellent. Instead of merely looking back at the grooves of the past, Origin seems to draw inspiration from there just as much as from the present, with an eye on the future.