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Echaskech - Shatterproof

Echaskech, Shatterproof

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

ECHASKECH are the combined talents of Londoners Dom Hoare and Andy Gillham and they specialise in technotronica and cinematic ambience.

Admittedly, their style takes some patience and a lot of getting used to. But there is plenty to admire.

New album Shatterproof sounds, by turns, like the soundtrack for a futuristic movie such as Blade Runner, or techo-laced electronica in the vein of classics such as Future Sound of London and The Orb.

Their music, all instrumental, is hugely evocative, carefully etching soundscapes that can’t fail to trigger all kinds of hallucinatory images in the mind.

Tracks such as Deserted, for instance, embrace a soundtrack ethos and are alarmingly simple. Scuzzy, minimalist beats, lone synth loops and wheezy sound effects swirl around a sombre piano chord that is utterly beguiling. It’s barely there at times… but hugely compulsive, holding you trance-like in its glory.

It comes in stark contrast to the more dance-floor orientated On Your Mind and Low Pressure, which recall at various points the retro ambient brilliance of Orb’s White Fluffy Clouds or Future Sound of London.

Album double-bill The Calm/The Storm, meanwhile, mix tempos to delicious effect – the former unfolding like some distant musical accompaniment set to a travel/nature documentary in Antarctica, and quickly being blown away by the darker, more insistent beats and synths of The Storm. It’s a telling example of Echaskech’s ability to contrast ethereal beauty with darker, harder elements.

And then there’s the breezy blissfulness of the upbeat She Likes Colour, which drops tight beats, swirling synth loops and really awakens you from your stargazing to make you want to hit the dancefloor.

Echaskech may not appeal to everyone’s tastes but fans of electronica, chillout, breakbeat and ambience would do well to give it a go. There are a multitude of musical pleasures contained within.

Download picks: On Your Mind, She Likes Colour, The Calm, The Storm, Deserted

Track listing:

  1. Shatterproof
  2. On Your Mind
  3. Future Sex
  4. Low Pressure
  5. Deserted
  6. Reduction
  7. The Calm
  8. The Storm
  9. Digital City
  10. She Likes Colour
  11. Redeploy