Where Echoes End - By The Pricking Of My Thumb

Year of Release: 1998
Label: Beaks Ahoy/self-released
Catalog Number: 001
Format: CD
Total Time: 71:58:00

I really don't know where to begin. I've never heard a disc that quite sounds like this one, nor do I ever think I will understand something of this style. If you've been reading the comments of Eddie Katz on the PM Board [Perpetual Motion], you know something cerebral has been in the works with Where Echoes End, and I'll have to agree with that. However, I'm pretty baffled as to which musical audience they plan to reach with music like this. I am certain that they are looking to the Progressive world for the flexibility of the mind and the willingness to expand one's horizon, but beyond that, I am not sure what this all means.....

In case you don't know, Where Echoes End is a project put together by Eddie Katz and Paul Read, who brought us Vauxdvihl's masterpiece, To Dimension Logic, which most prog metal fans revere as one of the true masterpieces of prog metal. Eddie has said in the past, do NOT expect anything like VV, and he means it.

I believe that it would take Eddie about 2 hours on the telephone to explain to me the origin, meaning, and message behind this music, so I will skip trying to interpret that part of the disc and get right to the music.......

If I had to sum this disc up for those not willing to read further, I would have to say that it's about 74:00 of synthesizers set to sound samples. Try to imagine what the dreamy and atmospheric sounds of Tangerine Dream would sound like if they crossed the psychedelic path of early Pink Floyd set to sound samples in 1998. Sure, I can see everyone running for their psyche drugs and neon posters and black lights right now, and you'd be right for doing so. Put some headphones on, shut the lights, light up some incense, and I'll bet it would be hard for you to figure out where you were without the drugs to transport you there.

Obviously, Eddie and Paul had some mystical, cerebral journey envisioned in their minds and this is a musical result of those ideas. Love of synthesizers is a MUST; that is the base sound for this entire journey. It's layered with dreamy, atmospheric strings, choruses and other different sounds as we are taken on this journey of theirs..... trying to figure out where the sound samples come from is about as hard as trying to figure out where Digital Ruin's samples come from, and that's because the music is layered over the top of the sounds, and the human ear just can't separate both sounds at once and focus on one sound. Therefore, someone knew this would happen ahead of time, and you can forget about separating the sounds and trying to relate to them as a whole entity instead. I do recognize some of the sounds from other bands who have used similar passages, but I still can't figure out for the life of me where they come from, although I take great pride in knowing that they've used a passage from The Outer Limits, of which most of you will not be familiar with; age has something to do with this ........

The production is immaculate. They've painstakingly set this sound just right so that sound and words mesh together as one, providing the listener with the difficult task of separating the two. The synths sound beautiful, and the samplings are up in the mix as well, so you can hear both but at the same time. As I've said, put some headphones on and take off on a journey through time.

One other aspect of this disc is the beautiful, dreamy artwork of the CD insert. The booklet is gorgeous, and the artwork is spectacular. They have included some of the Where Echoes End artwork on computer disc in my copy, and I am not sure if this standard procedure or not, but I am grateful for receiving that as it is quite beautiful and makes for great pics on the computer. This project is dedicated to attention to detail.

As I've stated, this is not anything that we are used to, and I am not quite sure who in the music world would enjoy this type of approach to music. I'd like to further state that I don't think that WEE had intended to reach any one particular audience, as most anyone who listens to music can be a part of this journey, it does not meet any criteria for any one genre of music. However, if you don't like keyboards, stay away from this one, it's the basis for the sound and the driving force behind the ideas ...... Also, don't have anyone in the house while you listen to this, guarenteed they won't understand what it's about, and they will wonder if you've lost your mind further than they already think you have. It's a personal experience, and one that requires time and patience to take this journey through time and space with this disc. I truly believe that this disc could make a great movie soundtrack, as it's filled with emotion and urgency. I also believe that you can create your own movie in your mind as you listen to this and I am sure that the intent of the band is just this; to create your own vision of time while you listen to their interpretation of time.

It's intruiging nonetheless, you really have to open up your mind for this one. If you've been following Eddie's writings on the Board, you know ahead of time that this was going to be different, confusing and strange. It is all that and more. My personal guess is that people won't give this a chance because of the nature of the style, and metal heads won't go near this because it has nothing to do with metal. I imagine that someone will happen upon this disc much like we did with Tangerine Dream way back in the 70s, and either latch on to their vision or let it go. There was no denying the creativity of those approches, and there is no denying the creativity of this band either. Just prepare for the ultimate mind journey. If this band had the resources to make a full length video to coincide with this music, it would be one mind and sight blowing experience.

PS: The title of the disc on the side of the jewel case is wrong intentionally.

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)
Pictures From The Attic (2004)
Hate Someone (2003)

Genre: Experimental

Origin AU

Added: July 25th 1999
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website: members.optusnet.com.au/~weend/frame.html
Hits: 934
Language: english


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