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Echo Park, The Evolution of Everyday Life (Lo Recordings, 1998)

Echo Park was a mysterious and —as far as I know— short-lived collaboration between Lo Recordings label head Jon Tye and London DJ Spykid (aka Tony Wilson —no, not THAT Tony Wilson). Their debut album featured some relatively big-name guest stars (Seefeel’s Sarah Peacock and Daren Seymour, Robert Hampson, Thurston Moore) making an intriguing if somewhat unfocused amalgam of airy electronica, drum & bass, and post-rock.

Then there’s track two, a song so laser-like in its intensity that the rest of the album blurs out in comparison. “Needled.” It begins with a wonderful rhythmic underpinning, a jazzy yet strangely motorik drum loop. It’s almost jaunty.

Then the ominous feedback kicks in. A woman’s voice, desperate and inaudible at times, strains to be heard over the white-noise wash:

There might not be a platform here tomorrow. There may not be a school here tomorrow. You may not be here tomorrow. You may decide to go out and get yourself shot.

Please, let him have this chance.

And suddenly, the jauntiness of the drum loop seems so very wrong. It remains steadfast while everything else slowly collapses around it. It’s the sound of a world falling into chaos.

This track really affects me. It’s terrifying, despite the fact that nothing really happens. The listener is trapped with this woman on the cusp of some Unexplained Event, locked in an endless and inappropriately buoyant drum loop. The dystopian nightmare looms, and it’s oppressive. But it’s alluring too. Or I wouldn’t listen to it over and over.

PS: Have a lovely Thanksgiving holiday!

Buy from Lo Recordings | Spykid | Jon Tye

MP3Echo Park, “Needled” (from The Revolution Of Everyday Life, 1998)