Echospace: The Coldest Season Volume 1

Modern Love, 2007

Detroit’s Rod Modell and Chicago’s Steve Hitchell collaborate for the debut of Echospace. This is the first of four 12-inches with a CD to follow. (The release date has been pushed back to June 18, but Boomkat just sold 100 white labels, presumably to capitalize on the release of Deepchord’s Vantage Isle.) True to form, Modell and Hitchell produced these tracks using only analogue equipment, including the legendary Roland Space Echo and Maestro Echoplex tape delays and various noise generators.

So what does it sound like? A lot noisier than most Deepchord records. This is a reminder of Rod Modell’s ambient roots. “First Point of Aries” begins with a wash of static. Synths echo over a rain-like hiss. After a few minutes without a beat, deep bass and simple percussion begin. “Celestialis” is very Basic Channel-like, reminding me of “Octagon.”

As the Deepchord family grows more prolific, there’s a greater risk of becoming formulaic. As much as I love this sound, it is all starting to blend together. With Basic Channel, each release was an individual experiment. It would be fun if Modell were to set aside the Space Echo for a little while and try some new techniques. That said, this is still lovely dubby techno.

4/5 stars

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