Secret Frequency Crew: Forest of the Echo Downs

Schematic, 2004

Forest of the Echo Downs cover

Secret Frequency Crew’s debut full-length is chock-full of melodic music, both downtempo and uptempo. “Neon Bridge” is very Bola-like, with layers of electronics over a hip-hop beat and the occasional vocal snippet. “Holographic Moon Owls” has a similar feel. On “Black Moss Caves Pt. 1,” crunchy beats, synth washes, keyboards, and horns combine for a lush, uplifting track. It’s an unlikely combination of sounds—think Bola meets Mouse on Mars. On “Baron of the Bog,” the horns come forward and are joined by weak, distorted vocals for a funky pop jam. “Faen”’s catchy rhythm is enhanced by a drum solo. “Photovoric Inchworms” features robotic voices over swirling electronics and a strong bassline. Between tracks nature sounds and ambient electronics provide a nice atmospheric touch. The later tracks, which use more live instruments, are the most unique. This is refreshingly interesting music, with a coherent concept that doesn’t tire.

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1 Comment

Man, I am hearing this right now for the first time, and seriously, I am just loving it. It's amazing how Schematic can be (for me) so hit and miss, but when they hit, they really hit.