Where Echoes End - By The Pricking Of My Thumb

Year of Release: 1998
Label: Beaks Ahoy
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 72:00:00

Since I started writing reviews a couple of months ago, I've had the pleasure of reviewing a few truly unique, intelligent and original bands. Now, Where Echoes End is another highly talented band/project that should be added to that list. Where Echoes End hail from Australia and consist of two multitalented guys, Eddie Katz and Paul Read.

Some might recognise these names as they were both involved in the band Vauxdvihl, who released the critically acclaimed debut To Dimesion Logic. As I'm a big fan of that CD, I was very excited to hear what these two guys could come up with this time around. The CD has 19 tracks, divided into 5 parts, with running time of exactly 72 minutes. I would also like to praise Katz for the great artwork on the cover and booklet, dark and dreamy, really interesting, mysterious and professional.

First, let me make it clear that this is nothing like Vauxdvihl, at least not in musical approach and direction. The CD is very original, in fact I have never heard anything similar to this, and it's really hard to describe or categorise the music. The 19 tracks offered, takes you on a unique journey, experiencing 72 minutes of diverse keyboard/synth sounds/rhythms/music with samples floating around. Although this is not straight prog, there are lots of progressive elements to be found in their music.

As I mentioned, the music is basically built around the tasty key/synth work of Katz and Read, which is very varied and interesting. You can hear elements of ambient, romantic, symphonic, techno, bizarre, classical, ethnic, psychedelic, heavy and progressive music, professionally incorporated with various samples of specific themes/stories, making musical images. The music is sometimes slow, dark and beautiful, filled with romantic synthesized piano, violins and flutes, all mixed together with various poetic or thematic samples. But it can also be more upbeat, with techno rhythms or heavy guitars. There are also a lot of interesting instrumental parts, strange rhythms and sounds to be found. The music itself is very demanding for the listener. And the fact that this music really has something to say, both musically and lyrically, as there are a lot of different themes to be found from song to song (ranging from political, religious and cultural themes to science and human behaviour etc), demands even more from the listener. This is not "easy listening," but really intelligent, thoughtful/though-provoking music. A review I saw, called it "poetry music" and that's perhaps the most satisfying definition in collective terms that I can think of, although this music is so much more.

This is the hardest review I have had to write so far, as this music is original, and contains so many different musical influences that it's impossible to describe their style or sound in general terms. I would love to do a song per song review, but my poor English and the lack of spare time prevents me from doing just that.

The fact that these guys are an independent band, makes the outcome even more impressive. The production is impeccable and the mix between music and lyrical samples is very good, you can actually hear what the lyrics say. The artwork of the CD cover/booklet is superb, even with some words of wisdom to each of the five parts. And the music offered is diverse, intriguing, mind-provoking and totally original. That's why I give this CD 12 out of 12 points [This review originally originally appeared at Barcode -PW ed.]. Beware that this is not every ones cup of tea, but fans of intelligent and original music should check this band out. Hopefully they will get a deal, and the chance to distribute their unique music worldwide.

[Before the band's second release, Paul Read passed away from leukemia - PW ed.]

[This review originally appeared May 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

To the enlightened man: Disengage...disengage...disengage (4.00) / Endless forms most beautiful: Ripples on a stagnant pond (3.26) - Life as animation (3.29) / The face in the mirror: Inventor of the invisible world (4.40) - Terra incognita (3.54) - I tell the truth, even when I lie (2.38) - Opinions divided (5.06) - A cast of thousands (2.07) - Only in war (3.33) - Our lowest ebb I and II (8.51) - Our lowest ebb III and IV (7.19) - Syndication I (3.24) - Syndication II (4.05) / And Oh how we long to escape: Trust me (2.44) - I'm here but I'm not all there (3.08) - A stranger to reason (3.01) - The human condition (1.52) - Ad infinitum (2.01) / Wild imaginings: Reengage...reengage...reengage (2.40)

Eddie Katz - keyboards, bass, sampling, sequencing, vocals, cymbals
Paul Read - keyboards, sequencing, sampling, vocals, guitars
Mark Rachelle - assistance

By The Pricking Of My Thumb (1998)
My Sweet Grotesque (2001)
Hate Someone (2003)
Pictures From The Attic (2004)

Genre: Other

Origin AU

Added: March 29th 2005
Reviewer: Bjørnar Bevolden
Artist website: members.optusnet.com.au/~weend/frame.html
Hits: 1020
Language: english


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