It’s impressive to find an album as immersive as Echolocation
Having been familiar with Kurt Gluck’s (aka Submerged) work via his Ohmn Resistance Label and the The Blood Of Heroes project, I was intrigued to see what shape this new collaboration with second generation jazz great Graham Haynes would take.
Haynes, the son of living legend Roy Haynes, has long tried to operate on the fringe of jazz and his adoption of electronic elements and treatments has been a key feature of his work to date. So it seems logical that he should cross paths with fellow Brooklynite Gluck, and they seem to have found a common shared vision here. Collaborations can often feel overextended once they get past a couple of songs or an EP length but, despite being recorded and assembled in different parts of the globe, the cleverly titled Echolocation hangs together brilliantly.
Like any successful collaboration, the two main elements, in Haynes’ case cornet and Gluck’s, er, everything else are given equal emphasis, and sometimes it’s hard to decipher what is heavily treated cornet and what is electronic ambience. Thankfully the artists keep the beats and melodies hooky and there’s a great interplay between the two, where occasionally the cornet takes a more rhythmic role alongside the beats pummelling you in lockstep. Check the intro of “Flashtower,” which is exhilarating stuff, I can only imagine how powerful this would sound at volume in a live environment.
Artist: Graham Haynes vs. Submerged
Label: Burning Ambulance
★★★★ (4/5 stars)
There’s a contemporary noir vibe to “Bushwick,” a woozy lo-fi smear of a tune which slowly ratchets up the tension, culminating in a creaky ambient circus theme. Sounds ridiculous in print, but you really need to hear it to see how effortlessly it morphs over its five-minute run time.
If you’re looking for a chopped ’n’ screwed fix then “Perseverance” will take you downtown quicker than you thought possible, whilst a lone bass note sounds out a relentless tattoo.
Things get a bit more frantic on “Moscow,” which ups the tempo whilst underpinning it with a crushing bass line. And of course the album is expertly sequenced, so just after the jittery “Moscow,” things ease down to a chunkier mid-paced feel on “DeKalb Ave. Blues.”
“Everything All At Once Forever” finishes off the album with some driving drum ’n’ bass along the lines of Aphex Twin at his most uplifting; Haynes’ melodies and layers weave and intertwine, sending the album to a euphoric close.
Fans of trip-hop and dub, anyone looking an update of the ambient breakbeat sound, or those who miss the dark ’90s moods of Witchman or DJ Cam will find plenty to love here. For the rest of us, we should enjoy strapping ourselves in and getting our synapses rewired for 55 minutes.
It’s impressive to find an album as immersive as this, one to take you out of yourself — and in this day and age, that’s maybe what we all need.
Echolocation is available now at http://bitly.com/ghvsecho.
AUDIO: Graham Haynes vs. Submerged “Flashtower”