29th November 2019
EP Rating 4 / 5
Live Potential 5 / 5
Favourite Songs Chicago Stuk, So Zat, Chuck Like This
Brussels-based four-piece ECHT! have released a fantastic debut EP that embraces electronic music into their funked-up grooves through a continuous 16-minute mix.
Released via Ghent label Sdban Ultra in Belgium, DOUF consists of 8 tracks recorded in 3 days that flow with ease as they have a distinct innovative style that combines swirling beats and offbeat rhythms with electronica juices. The EP almost feels like a DJ set as the tunes merge perfectly.
Drawing on various influences including Jonwayne, DJ Rashad, Deantoni Parks, J Dilla, Dorian Concept and Aphex Twin, ECHT!'s debut single 'R2-D2' came from a jam that built on a sampled piano riff and a heavy hip-hop groove. They explain:
"We wanted to add some of our weirdest, most futuristic sounds (the name 'R2-D2' refers to one of those) and a robotic gimmick emerged. Then we alternated this part with a frenetic, condensed flow growing more and more to finally submerge you. This tune reflects our approach: we try to integrate the inhuman heritage of electronic music and 're-humanise' it in an instrumental performance"
This philosophy continues throughout DOUF as 'Bonjour' opens up a sonic sound explosion through electro-fused funk vibes. 'Tsht' has some intense synth stabs and a superb guitar hook that emerges halfway through, before the first smooth transition occurs when the EP melts into 'Chuck Like This'. Méreau's tight drumming is cemented in the subby bass tune 'Mad Merckx' as it intertwines with Florent Jeunieaux's guitar flicks.
'Chicago Stuk' stands out with its slight squelchiness from Dorian Dumont's keys that allows the overdrive tone to wail from the guitar, whilst 'Adorable' crackles and sizzles heavily as it arpeggiates into the electro-soul vibes of 'So Zat'. This song is driven simply, but effectively, by Federico Percoraro's bassline that allows the keys to glimmer, shine and bring the EP to an ethereal close before the outro trickles into a trip-hop vibe.
Echt means 'true' or 'real' in Brusseleir (a Brabantian dialect of Brussels) and references the fact their sound is 'real', performed with musical instruments as opposed to computer-produced music. Yet their obvious talent and understanding of their instruments to illustrate such a fluid mixture of tunes that emulate and convince you that you are listening to digitally produced music is magnificent. What a pleasure it will be to hear more of their tracks in the future.
You can listen to DOUF here:
Or buy DOUF on vinyl via bandcamp:
You can keep up to date with ECHT! and their music here:
ECHT! are: Martin Méreau - Drums; Dorian Dumont - Keys; Florent Jeunieaux - Guitar; Federico Pecoraro - Bass.