Deepchord presents : Echospace: The Coldest Season Volume 4
Modern Love

Deepchord presents : Echospace: The Coldest Season
Modern Love

Words like galaxial and oceanic hardly do justice to the immense expanses traversed by Detroit's Rod Modell (aka Deepchord) and Chicago's Stephen Hitchell (aka Soultek) on their quartet of Echospace twelves and related The Coldest Season debut full-length. If ever a release argued for a 12-inch presentation, it's the Echospace material, with volume four's thirteen-minute “Aequinoxium” in particular a seemingly irrefutable argument all by itself. Though the CD version makes a valiant effort to match it, the humongous bass that rumbles unstoppably through the vinyl version is a force to be reckoned with. Huge winds snarl, laser synths lunge, and dubby chords ripple throughout the beat-driven, crackle-laden colossus.

Though the Echospace material is pitched as a Berlin-Detroit-Chicago stylistic meeting ground, it's clearly most indebted to the ultra-textured, dub-techno style associated with Basic Channel-Chain Reaction artists like Maurizio (Moritz Von Oswald), Fluxion, and Substance, among others. And all praise to Modell and Hitchell for perpetuating it when the originators no longer appear to be doing so: with all four volumes' tracks woven into an uninterrupted eighty-minute stream, The Coldest Season comes across as the greatest Chain Reaction-album-that-never-was. All of the vinyl tracks re-appear with the epic, eleven-minute drift of “ Ocean Of Emptiness ” added to sweeten the deal.

The album's journey really kicks in when the subterranean bass and clicking house groove kick in midway through “First Point of Aries” and rarely lets up thereafter, save for a beatless excursion or two. Buried beneath the gaseous flow of “Abraxas” lies a swinging house pattern of muffled kick drums and backbeat hi-hat tics. “Celestialis” and “Empyrean” adopt a buoyant and rather skanky strut while “Sunset” and “Elysian” stand out as powerful steamrollers whose thrusting, bass-driven attack situates Echospace deep in the club. Produced using vintage analog gear only (Roland Space Echo, Echoplex, Korg tape delay, signal processors, noise generators, Sequential Circuits 8 bit samplers, analog synthesizers), the music's depths are so vast, one conceivably could plunge in and never reach bottom.

September 2007