The Echologist, Slow Burn EP

[Steadfast]


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Brendon Moeller’s output is consistent enough to warrant the need of various nom de plumes just so he can indulge in his stylistic penchants. As The Echologist the South African producer has been examining dubby house since 2004 and while his work under this guise may have been overshadowed by his more prolific output under his own name and that as Beat Pharmacy, he’s notched up some impressive records under this moniker too. “Slow Burn” is naturally ebullient; its rounded chords and breathing, spatial atmospherics chart the hopeful beauty you’d expect to find on an Intrusion release rather than fitting the mold of most chilling, emotionless dub house and techno. The heavily accented claps suck and swing against the groove of the track giving some force to the otherwise passive nature it carries. The chords themselves follow a similar trajectory to Kraftwerk’s “Trans Europe Express,” adding further dimension to the cyclical patterns.

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The dub mix by Moeller strangely enough carries more melody than the original does; the tubby, Juno inspired bass winds a pathway that lilts and wanes through more somber sounding chords and spooky, cavernous echoes. It never reaches any major crescendos, opting instead for a constant rising and falling feeling, a pendulous arc of blunted sonics. Sigha’s excursion is a doomed, lamp-lit journey to the pits of a concrete bunker, the cold drip of filtered hi-hats sliding down over a luckless, brooding bass line. The monochromotic version bears comparison to the strong-armed, bristling techno perpetrated by the likes of the Berghain residents and is an excellent addendum to Moeller’s original. These tracks may take some repeated listening to sink in, adhering to their own name, but when they do they work their way right under your skin.

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