Boomkat Product Review:
If you’ve heard of Felix Kubin before, you’ll likely think you have some idea of how ‘Echohaus’ is going to sound. Well forget what you know, you’re wrong – Kubin’s well-worn Sci-Fi pop stylings are entirely erased on ‘Echohaus’ as he rebuilds people’s preconceptions from the ground up. He may have just scored a long-deserved Wire cover, but Kubin is not content to simply rest on his laurels, and although ‘Echohaus’, a collaboration with contemporary chamber group Ensemble Integrales, might not be what you expect, it’s exactly what you want, you just don’t know it yet. The concept is this; Kubin worked with composer Burkhard Friedrich (himself a former member of the Ensemble Integrales) to give the collaborating group of musicians simple graphic scores or basic descriptions of the compositions, then each musician was placed in a separate room with each room used as a natural echo chamber. The musicians played simultaneously, but could not hear each other – Kubin controlled the mix from another room and the album was recorded in one take without overdubs. The result is a shockingly original collection of haunted creaks, Ligeti-patented sharp strong drones, deep, echoing percussion and bubbling electronics. It is almost impossible to come up with comparisons but imagine if Supersilent were pitched against Burial (really…) and Bernard Herrmann and you might have some clue as to what’s happening here. ‘Echohaus’ really is an album that has to be heard to be believed and although it’s appearing right at the end of the year and most of the ‘best of’ lists are now done, it really would have been a contender. Remarkable music, and utterly essential.
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