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Echo Us

To Wake a Dream In Moving Water

Review by Gary Hill

I've covered several albums from this act in the past. They have a way of creating modern prog that has nods to the classic progressive rock. Their sound is generally on the mellower side. This album is no exception. There is some really pretty music here. The simple answer is, if you've liked Echo Us in the past, you will love this disc. It's packed full of their trademark sound. If you haven't heard them before, this would be a great introduction to their sedate, electronically tinged modern prog sound.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Awakening Current
Keyboards lead the album out in mellow textures. Gradually other musical elements rise upward. This shifts gradually with some cool instrumental work built into it.  In some ways I'm reminded of Pat Metheny a bit on this cut. This piece is quite an intriguing journey. Although an instrumental, there are some non-lyrical vocals built into it.
Aeriel (Satre Dance)

Intricate and fairly quick paced, this instrumental has a real fusion meets new age vibe to it in many ways. It's another intriguing piece of music. Around the half way mark it rises into more hard rocking territory. The fusion element is still the main thing, but there are some hints of space rock built into it.

Begin to Remember V1

Built around intricate acoustic guitar at the start, this is the first cut with vocals. It fires out into some seriously Celtic sounds when it powers up, but the more balladic modes serve as the backdrop for the vocals. This is quite a pretty cut and has some dreamy sounds at times.

Begin to Remember V2

Keyboard (led by piano) start this piece. it works forward with an atmospheric kind of vibe. It gradually shifts to a more driving mellow motif. As the vocals enter the cut feels a bit related to the electronic pop music of the 1980s. Still, this is more closely tied to modern prog rock.

May Morning Dew
Merging electronic music, fusion and trippy modern prog, this is a cool instrumental. I love the melodies that create the top portion of this soundscape.
From the Highlands

Running about 15 and a half minutes, this is an epic piece. Mellow instrumental work brings this into being and starts to evolve gradually outward from there. It drops down to a Celtic styled world music jam. That gradually gets more involved. As this shifts more toward intricate fusion turned prog, it gets intense, but not a lot louder. It's five minutes in before we get any vocals. The section is a melodic rock type motif. It works out toward more of that Pat Metheny type stuff for a time. Then we get a return to Celtic textures. Keyboards create layers of lush sound over the top. Then guitar creates patterns of melody. This is very much Celtic prog at this point. They work this through various shifts and changes with different styles and foci driving it. Yet the Celtic element remains. Then again, with that title what would you expect?

Doina

The sounds that lead us out here make me think of John Carpenter's music a bit. Pretty melodic elements drive this number forward as a more ambient texture creates the backdrop.

To Wake a Dream in Moving Water

Almost fifteen minutes in length the closing title track comes in feeling a bit like a cross between Jonathan Elias and Pink Floyd to me. This works its way out to a more melodic modern prog type sound for the vocal sections. It continues to evolve and grow gradually as it makes its way forward. There is some annoying processing on some of the vocals of this song, but I suppose that's the trendy thing to do. Around the nine minute mark it drops to ambient sounds and begins to slowly make its way back upward from there. It eventually makes its way back upward from there. After working through in that kind of format, it drops down to a short outro.

 
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