[From Excellent Reception : Episode 4]
Somewhere deep down in Auckland, New Zealand you can find Lord Echo tinkering away in his studio working on his weird and wonderful dubbed out music. Lord Echo is actually the alias of multi-instrumentalist and producer Mike Fabulous, who you may know from his work with the band The Black Seeds.
The music he makes is his own lo-fi take on afrobeat, roots reggae, jazz, and gritty soul. His production techniques rely heavily on 60’s recording aesthetics and vintage equipment. Even though Lord Echo’s tools and concepts are related to the past, there is nothing outdated about his music. His songs bubble up with an optimistic sincerity and the warm analog timbre creates an atmosphere that helps you to appreciate each note.
It’s easy to hear the influences of great artists like Fela Kuti, Sun-Ra, and Lee “Scratch” Perry in Lord Echo’s music. During the mixing process, he colors each instrument with just the right amount of reverb, delay, and other dub influenced effects to create a thickly layered texture of sonic resonance that takes the listener deep into outer space. At the same time, the constantly moving rhythm section and heavy handed funk is enough to keep you from getting too far off the ground.
On the song “Wang East”, off of his first album “Melodies”, you can hear Lord Echo pushing and pulling you between getting into the groove and making you completely zone out. The syncopated patterns of what sounds like the classic Maestro Rhythm King drum machine give you something steady to hold on to as you travel through a cosmic landscape of twinkling pianos, bouncy basslines, and Toby Laing’s otherworldly vocals.
This is an excerpt from the Excellent Reception podcast. Each episode our host, lil’dave, talks about the stories and influences around a group of carefully selected songs. Subscribe to the podcast now via iTunes.