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Lonesome Echo Production - Silver Ocean


Review: Jack Foley

LONESOME Echo Production is the latest project from Japanese producer/DJ Yasushi Ide, who has been active in the Japanese music industry, as a producer, since the early 80s.

It is described as an album of dreamy, spiritual dance music, that contains elements of everything from house, dub, hip-hop, Brazilian and Latin, right through to soul and more.

And, for the most part, it is an enticing mix of chillout collaborations that leave you feeling good without necessarily knowing why.

Things get off to a suitably soulful start with Sweet Dream, which boasts the presence of ex-Ten City frontman, Bryon Stingily, whose dripping vocals evoke memories of Zero 7 collaborator, Mozez, before moving into slightly more uptempo Brazilian territory, with No Colo Do Mar, a track that contains some impressive flamenco guitar, as well as some nice violin work from Chieko Kinbara.

A welcome air of familiarity drifts over the reggae makeover that is given to Bill Withers' classic Aint No Sunshine When She's Gone, which is only partially successful, while Puerto Rico's best-known deep house producer, Osunlade, provides the fender rhodes and vocals for Soul Galactic, but fails to generate much excitement. The beat is too repetitive and contains the kind of Ibiza-chilled vibe that is the mainstay of so many records nowadays.

Celebration Dance picks things up a little, though, with its neatly observed flutes, and a Nightmares on Wax feel, while the album really comes alive with the star-studded Love, that succeeds in nailing the New York vibe it is clearly going in search of - you can almost imagine it playing out to a dimly lit, smoke-filled jazz club at a little after midnight.

Love contains some really sexy saxophone from the legendary Pharoah Sanders and Lonnie Liston Smith, which perfectly compliments the smooth spoken word lyrics of New York jazz rap poet, Apani, and the well-observed samples of Dj Spinna.

It is, like its name suggests, difficult not to fall in love with and sets an impossible standard which the rest of the album simply cannot match.

Elsewhere, there is the Jamaican dub of Spirit of the Drums, featuring the prophet, Matabaruka, or the sweaty Latino vibe of bonus track, Gone With The Wind, to get dancing to, but nothing comes close to the memory of Love.

Had the rest of the album done so, we would have been raving about a classic, but as it is, Lonesome Echo does just enough to justify an encore, while broadening anyone's musical sensibilities.

It is, in short, a really smooth groove for the late-night chillout crowd.

 

 

 

Track listing:
1. Sweet Dream - Feat. Byron Stingily
2. No Colo Do Mar - Feat. Liliana Chachian
3. Ain’t No Sunshine - Feat. Ken Boothe & U-Roy
4. Soul Galactic - Feat.Osunlade
5. Celebration Dance - Feat. Nana Vasconcelos
6. Love - Feat. Pharoah Sanders, Apani, Lonnie Liston Smith & Dj Spinna
7. Spirit Of Drums - Feat. Mutabaruka
8. Wishing On A Star - Feat. Sara Divine & Lonnie Liston Smith
9. Sweet Dream (Lonesome Echo Strings Version)
10. Gone With The Wind - Feat. Hanako Kimura (Bonus Track)

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