While we patiently await new music, we can revel in versions that escaped the typical overthinking that occurs during the album process, instead reflecting the spontaneity and freedom of a touring artist. All tracks bar one (‘Thinking of Dub’) were initially released on short-run 7” singles for Echo’s early Japan tours, made only available to dedicated fans who attended the live shows.
The country holds a special place in his heart thanks to the warm hospitality of its citizens, in particular tour organiser and label owner Kenji Sakajiri from Wonderful Noise (with whom Soundway is co-releasing the vinyl album). That said, cultural differences made for unforgettable if not unique experiences of performing in Japan – from DJ etiquette which compelled him to stay to the end of the party no matter what, to a near-religious moment of dancing to Pat Metheny around a bonfire in the woods. A regular visitor to Asia will also be familiar with the concept of “lose-face”, and in the case for Lord Echo it was processing the crushing shame of DJing a digital set alongside heavyweight Japanese collectors or next to signage stating “Real DJ Vinyl Only”.
Humbling moments aside, the Japanese obsession with detail and quality can also produce a high level of experience, one that left such an impression upon Echo that the track ‘Nightclub Daydream’ is inspired by the near-utopian clubs he visited and the sound systems that drive them. Unexpected perhaps that such an atmosphere of perfectionism also unleashed creative bursts, resulting in a heavy, subby version of “In Your Life” with Lisa Tomlins taking over vocals, an upbeat reggae cover of William DeVaughan’s “Be Thankful For What You Got”, or a version of “Woah! There’s No Limit” with influences of soul and early hip-hop amen breaks.
Without further ado, Soundway presents Lord Echo’s ‘Rarities’, a collection of sought- after singles now made very much accessible to you the people.
1. Be Thankful
2. In Your Life (Lisa Tomlins Version)
3. Nightclub Daydream
4. Floating Bridge
5. Woah! There's No Limit (Alternate Version)
6. Thinking Of Dub
7. Makossa No. 2
8. Cosmic Echoes In Dub