DeepChord presents Echospace :: Silent World (Official Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Echospace [Detroit])

Combining the duo’s trademark ultra-deep atmospherics with rhythms and wells of bass and infusing every element with a sort of radiance and soft glow that blurs the lines between them to create what is probably their most immersive, hazy and intoxicating album experience to date.

Deepchord Presents Echospace ‘Silent World’

[Boomkat release page] It seems like forever since the announcement in early 2012 that the eagerly awaited and almost infinitely delayed debut album from Hitchell and Modell’s cv313 project finally had a tentative release date, and since then Dimensional Space sat in online stores’ pre-order sections for months as the release date was put back again and again and again. But then suddenly and completely out of the blue came the announcement that the critically acclaimed and massively influential DeepChord presents Echospace project would be issuing something called Silent World (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) in June 2012.

It quickly transpired that Silent World was a project comprised primarily of unprocessed material used in the creation of their controversial second album Liumin, released by Modern Love back in 2008, so rather than this being essentially a remix album it would probably be more accurate to describe it as Liumin (Original Version). There are tracks here that are clearly different mixes of those found on Liumin, as well as the original versions of both “In Echospace” and “BCN Dub,” but as most dub techno fans will know, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be any less distinctive an experience.

If anything, Silent World sits somewhere between the heavy duty thump of the cityscape describing Liumin and the gaseous, distant, drone-tone adorned field-recordings-fest that is Liumin Reduced (which came with initial copies of the original CD), a sort of middle-tier version that occupies that all-important “sweet-spot.” It combines the duo’s trademark ultra-deep atmospherics with rhythms and wells of bass, then infuses every element with a sort of radiance and soft glow that blurs the lines between them to create what is probably their most immersive, hazy and intoxicating album experience to date.

“Lisbon” is to Silent World what the titanic “Burnt Sage” was to Liumin, the pinnacle of deep-focus, atmospheric beauty in perfect balance with heady, relentless rhythms and softly pounding bass that – like all the best dub-techno out there—almost has the power to invoke a transcendent out of body experience. In actual fact, this continues right into the very next track, as “Rippling” floats through the ether on gossamer wings, whilst “BCN Dub (Original Version)” is destined I’m sure to become recognised as one of their all time classics, asserting it’s superiority over the Liumin version in almost every respect. The migraine-inducing bass drum has gone, replaced by a more muted, vague, far off and skitterish pulse and the flicker and strobe of the horn section has never sounded better. It might be outrageous hyperbole, but honestly, these three tracks represent one of the most seminal moments in Modell and Hitchell’s careers to date, a literally faultless thirty minutes of dub techno nirvana.

As with pretty much any album released on Echospace [Detroit], the compact disc version (or a rip thereof) turns out to be the most immersive format via which to experience Silent World as the constant leaping up to flip over or change the three marbled-vinyl discs is sufficiently intrusive to reset the cumulative power generated by listening to it uninterrupted. Though I’m sure vinyl lovers will heartily disagree, it becomes a totally different and frankly inferior experience, which is shame considering the extremely attractive package Echospace [Detroit] have put together for Silent World.

Speaking of which, the package is also both confusing and frustratingly error-prone: the tracklisting is incorrect on the LP sleeve and completely absent from the CD edition, which is a nightmare considering both formats feature one exclusive track apiece. Furthermore, the CD has different and inferior artwork, an apparently different title, doesn’t feature the trademark Deepchord presents Echospace fake circular sticker motif on the front for added inconsistency, and worst of all for some extremely irritating and inconvenient reason is pressed as a single, totally un-indexed seventy-one minute track. Joy.

Interestingly, the compact disc version seems to get the best deal on the exclusive track front as the blissful six minutes of “Orbiting” bridges the gap between “BCN Dub (Original Version)” and the CD-only “Hydrodynamics,” an expansive and richly layered fourteen minutes of soft but frenetic, bass pulses, scuffed hi-hats and synapse-flaring synths. The vinyl version gets lumped with the thudding of “Ghost Theory,” which compared to the rest of the material here sounds like a Liumin reject: it’s noisy, repetitive, lacking progression and sticks out like a weird distant relative at a wedding. Finally, Silent World closes on another high with “Theme From Silent World” which is essentially a beatless version of the superlative “Burnt Sage” from Liumin.

Liumin was a shock and disappointment to many as it took an entirely different course to its predecessor, not to mention the fact that for some reason Modern Love decided against releasing it on vinyl in any form whatsoever, an odd decision for such a wax-loving imprint. It’s a shame, then, that Silent World wasn’t also released on Modern Love, as it would have received better exposure, distribution and a higher pressing run. Just imagine how stellar this would have been if released together with Liumin and perhaps also Liumin Reduced in one of Modern Love’s amazing over-sized, multi-panel digifile cases. A missed opportunity there sadly.

Regardless, Silent World is a beautiful DeepChord presents Echospace record, arguably Liumin‘s superior in any number of ways and should be an essential purchase for dub techno fans.

Silent World is available on Echospace [Detroit]. [Boomkat release page]

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