The See Within

Echo Collective

7K! Records, 2020

http://www.echocollective.be

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/24/2020

Even though they're still a relatively new outfit, Echo Collective has made quite a name for themselves in the area of post-classical sounds already. An album that embraces all acoustic instruments, The See Within hosts violin, viola, cello, harp, and a magnetic resonator piano. The album is produced in real time and with no post-production (except for reverb). my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The Brussels band leads with “Inflection Point,” where a warm atmosphere is built with cautious strings that are textured with a pensive, graceful delivery, and “The See Within” continues this mature approach with precise plucking amid a dreamy landscape and some skilled improvisation.

In the middle, “The Witching Hour” unfolds with an introspective spirit that's both light and dark and is somehow both sparse and adventurous. Meanwhile, “Glitch” offers intricate string manipulation amid a fascinating, restrained climate. “Unknown Gates,” a particularly noteworthy track, then mixes classical sensibilities with post-rock ideas in a cinematic and daring display of hypnotic keys.

The final two tracks don't stray too far from their formula: “Respire” hums low with some strategic droning before crawling into a sonically louder yet still very serene resting place, and “First Brightening” exits the record with hazy keys alongside some ominous ambience.

This is certainly an intimate and daring effort from Margaret Hermant and Neil Leiter, the core of Echo Collective. The duo cut their teeth playing in A Winged Victory For The Sullen and then later on with Erasure and Johann Johannsson. More recently, they turned in a record where they covered Radiohead's Amnesiac from beginning to end. Now with Gary De Cart playing MRP and acting as their third composer, we're really starting to see what Echo Collective is capable on their own. It's becoming quite clear that they are nearly redefining classical music in their own artistic and constantly evolving vision.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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