July 24, 2014 § Leave a comment
Soon for elaboration!
To hear sound samples from the new album… II:XII, A Priori Memoriae Trailer…
July 19, 2014 § Leave a comment
There is one quick alteration to everything, in fact Sep 19th will be the exact day in Europe instead of the 12th, on the positive side, the UK only has to wait 3 more days from the original date! (the 15th!).
The full press release is here: http://progrockshow.blogspot.com/2014/07/echo-us-set-to-release-4th-full-length.html
I am developing a live set right now. Actually it’s pretty much done, parts are written / lead sheet-ed for bass, and all the electronics are prepared. If anyone knows a drummer that enjoys playing to electronics I’d love to find someone more permanent (we have a few interested drummers, but none are probably long-termers for the project).
June 26, 2014 § Leave a comment
Out this morning- a clipping from the press release. More details to follow!
Echo Us to issue 4th full-length album this fall, and the final work of their trilogy.
Now signed to Dust On The Tracks Records and set to release II:XII, À Priori Memoriaé, Ethan Matthew’s 10 year project reaches it’s apex.
Echo Us to issue 4th full-length album this fall, and the final work of their trilogy.Now signed to Dust On The Tracks Records and set to release II:XII, À Priori Memoriaé, Ethan Matthew’s 10 year project reaches it’s apex.(Portland, Ore.)
For the final installment of its concept-trilogy, Echo Us has signed a deal with Germany’s Dust On The Tracks Records. The worldwide release of the fourth full-length studio album, II:XII, À Priori Memoriaé is due Sept. 12th (EUROPE), Sept. 15th (UK), and Oct. 7th (USA) . The album will be released on digipak as well as through all digital outlets, with distribution through SPV and worldwide partners.
II:XII, À Priori Memoriaé brings together a host of classical musicians with the Echo Us core, to create a work that starts in the past, but finishes in futuristic fashion.
‘A Priori’ literally means “from the former” in Latin. The album looks back on other levels of consciousness expressed in the preceding works of the trilogy, as if within an afterlife. Flowing as one long work based off of a few melodic motifs, À Priori Memoriaé is truly a ‘classical’ work in many ways, fusing ancient and modern instruments to create a stream of consciousness. Ethan Matthew’s wrote and produced the album in Portland, Ore. Ethan is also known for his work with electronic-progressive metal pioneers Greyhaven, also released originally in Germany through Angular Records / SPV in the year 2000.
Echo Us won an Independent Music Award for “Best Eclectic” with 2012’s Tomorrow Will Tell The Story. Like Tomorrow Will Tell, the new album again features the voice of GRAMMY-nominated vocalist, Henta. Henta appears in the latest Echo Us animated video, Nightlight. Ethan’s insistence to an exacting inspiration within has meant following a different path than most. “The Echo Us project itself started in a mental ward- you can’t get much further out than that!” he said. “I was in a very messed up space for many years, and making these albums was basically a therapy for me, but as things grew it became much more obvious that the music could guild me to better places, and in turn guild others possibly coming out of traumatic situations as well. I never thought I’d be able to do this on my own- and it’s an interesting story to tell looking back now”.
With Tomorrow Will Tell The Story, Echo Us appears to have invented Medieval Futurism- it sounds like Clannad being sucked through a wormhole and dropped in an alternate reality where robotic druids watch over humanity. Frankly, ambient music has never been more unnerving than this. – PROG Magazine
Ethan underwent a variety of mental therapies, and in recent years has begun to develop methods for dealing with panic attacks and other mental states that plagued much of his teens through mid-20s. In 2013, this meant a return to live shows and a new attitude. “I received a gift of intense creativity and drive, but at the sacrifice of much of the ‘normal life’ I see around me” he said. “If I have to do this to stay sane, my belief is that the music can help people, and that’s the whole point really isn’t it? It’s my job to communicate, whether musically or simply by being an understanding ear myself. I like listening to people more now that my batteries are recharged- these days I need to be around people, unlike a few years ago.” said Ethan.
An animated video for the track “Nightlight” is available for viewing now, and an album preview was recently released. A video for the instrumental cut “Chrysalis” will also surface this fall. Clips of Chrysalis are offered up in the preview for a glimpse of what is to come, as Echo Us moves forward with their latest offering.
April 12, 2014 § Leave a comment
Think outside the box they say…
So for today, little time for video editing so let’s talk about something that needn’t not live examples- mixing inside vs outside of a computer system.
In years of yore (2005-2009?) many, even big names started throwing out a lot of their rack gear and large format mixing desks for an entirely computer-driven set-up (also known as “in the box” recording or ‘stand-alone DAW [digital audio workstation] ). Right when this started happening I listened carefully to some recent recordings done this way, and as best I could compared them to prior productions of those making the change to ‘in the box’ systems. The first thing I noticed was an increase in bass, and also a clarity that was almost off-putting. I also noticed that some of these albums had very *inconsistent* bass response overall at differing points in an arrangement. When visiting family there is a large home theater setup I’ve often used to get a better idea of various productions. I put on Sting (Nothing Like The Sun) and compared it in bass response to these newer recordings. The Sting record for it’s time has less bass, but the fidelity on the larger system is outstanding. Particularly of note was how *consistent* the bass response was across the whole record- there was never a time when something came in that was out of place or ‘boomy’ or distracting. Not so for those transitioning to ‘in the box’ systems.
Now mind you (and myself:-) I am comparing very different albums that represent a wide range of sound and arrangement. However, I think there has ought to be a consistency no matter what. Nothing is ever perfect, but to me not having to adjust anything when listening is a plus. In my car, where I do most of my listening, as well as some amount of referencing, I can also tell immediately if something has too much, or uneven bass, and as well whether the mixing and mastering is too hyped or loud- those old speakers in the back of the car + the tweeters in front is all I use (the front speakers were taken out years ago because I hated them). Albums that are ‘over mastered’ are easy to pick out and critique on this car system.
Back to mixing in the box and how all these changes affected what I do on my own productions. In 2007 I purchased a wide variety of older digital synths and a larger digital board (Ramsa DA7). In recent years I added some mid to higher-end outboard reverbs as well. There was a big learning curve, but what I discovered was that keeping my outboard synths “live midi” on the board rather than bouncing brought a wider berth of sound, and a slightly richer but “blurred” sound which I really liked. Before I had been working mostly in the box (The Tide Decides) and you can hear a major difference in sound from The Tide Decides to Tomorrow Will Tell The Story. Part of that was me simply getting better at what I do, but the other part was mixing out to the console and using a lot more outboard gear (and some of it not terribly expensive outboard gear at that!).
Now in 2013 and 2014 I’ve made another album (Not the one nearing release, but something else entirely for later release) that was mixed almost entirely in the box, but with using the outboard reverbs as the sole outboard gear. From comparing the mixes / masters of A Priori Memoriae (nearing release this summer) to this other record for later release I learned a lot. The ‘blurring’ of sound is largely gone for the latter release, but the higher-quality outboard reverbs make up for this somewhat. There is more bass overall in the second recording, but it’s leveled properly and consistent which was a major concern for me- I love bass, but I want it to fit the music and not be overpowering.
In the end, I love the sound of A Priori, but in moving forward in the current music economy and life in general, I need to be able to work much faster, which going in the box provides in theory. I can’t be concerned with breaking cables, rewiring, console automation (yes, I actually did use it on A Priori Memoriae!) and everything that comes with working ‘old school’ and mixing out to a console. The amount of time needed to make an album like A Priori or Tomorrow Will Tell The Story, doing them the way they were done is much greater due to troubleshooting time needed. Those albums, even though made on very tight budgets I am very happy with because of the ‘eclectic’ nature of how they were produced and recorded. There were so many pieces to the puzzle, but each piece fits wonderfully and compliments the whole, end result unlike The Tide Decides which was a much more ‘sterile’ production, both in composition, arrangement, engineering methods and more-
One thing that concerns me going forward is that actually working on an “out of the box” and with a more complex system effects the creative output and end result in a positive way and I don’t want to loose that- because you have to work so much harder, it actually helps you limit yourself on a musical level, and that can be a very powerful thing- It means everything you do has to count for something in the end result. There is less time to beat around the bush, and the one thing I fear with going to a much simpler ‘in the box’ set up is that I will be given way to much opportunity to experiment! Hopefully, as we mature this becomes less of a problem. But to think what younger musicians have available at their fingertips without even touching anything tape-based or even learning a mid to large-format console at all- There are things to learn within the ‘older’ methods that are sorely lost with modern DAW production (the difference in routing paradigms and the absence of any real separation between channel and monitor path is just the beginning). What we gain in convenience we loose in other areas. It is debatable whether learning an SSL automation computer is worthwhile (especially in today’s audio world) but I think on a human and learning level there is much to be gained from knowing where it all came from, and immersing oneself it for at least a number of years.
April 8, 2014 § Leave a comment
A few recent discussions prompted me to think about sharing a bit of what I actually do to create Echo Us music. To the initiated some of this may seem elementary, but in actual practice in a contemporary music setting the processes here are often lost. As a result many ‘pop’ music productions lack the basic tenants of music- Music moves, it flows almost always slightly out of time and space. You hear fine details of an acoustic instrument, and electronic music should reflect those delicacies in almost all situations.
In an era of mass-produced, pre-set driven beating of drums, I think exploring the delicacy of music is more than called for- Ethan
March 26, 2014 § Leave a comment
A big number of things going on the past month and more, and it is time to use this thing again! We’ve first got the exciting news that the new album will be released on Dust On The Tracks Records from Germany- The release will have great availability (Sony / Made In Germany / Universal Canada distributors) compared to previous releases.
We are targeted for June-ish- more frequent updates as we move along. The developments allow me to more fully explore the live show aspect of Echo Us, which I’ve wanted to for over a year now, and that we’ve started last fall as an acoustic duo and trio.
The ferocity with which I am capable of in the studio is still there as evidenced by all the work going on the past few weeks, partially in preparing ambient electronics for new shows- for Echo Us at least, I am stocked up on music for now, with another album already done as a possible followup to A Priori Memoriae.
All that said- more to come as we move closer. infoATechous.net is the address for press requests of all kinds, and of course contact can also be made with DOTT directly- A press release and things of that nature will be distributed shortly.
More later, I don’t divulge much online, but I’ll try and write more frequently… ! -E