SummaryNew Zealand-based multi-instrumentalist and producer Lord Echo aka Mike Fabs, is known worldwide for his production work with NZ's biggest Reggae export The Black Seeds. He drew a groundswell of excitement around his debut solo album Melodies in late 2010, becoming a cult classic strictly through word-of-mouth, championed by tastemakers like Gilles Peterson (who played it repeatedly on his BBC Radio 1 show), Oliver Wang (Soulsides) and Richard Dorfmeister. Re-issues of the album soon followed in Japan and Europe, with vinyl copies quickly becoming a hot commodity among discerning collectors around the globe. Echo was introduced to Bastard Jazz's DJ DRM in 2011 (via Detroit producer Recloose), and a limited 7" vinyl release on the Brooklyn-based label soon followed in 2012.
Curiosities picks up right where Melodies left off, with sun-drenched psychedelic dub sounds ("Bohemian Idol") and jerky funk vibes ("Digital Haircut", "Street Knowledge"). The album provides a wealth of dancefloor fodder, with forward thinking 70s-inspired disco tunes such as "Molten Lava" (featuring the soaring vocals of Leila Adu), as well as analog Afro-infused burners like "What Is That Feeling" and "Put It In My Head" (complemented by the golden-voiced Mara TK of Electric Wire Hustle fame). Down-home spiritual jazz/electronic meanderings ("Ghost Hands", "Arabesque") provide a counterpoint to Echo's driving cover-version of the Pharoah Sanders & Leon Thomas classic "The Creator Has a Master Plan". Echo's inspiring take on the classic track is uplifted by the soulful singing of Lisa Tomlins (whose notable vocals on Echo's version of Sister Sledge's "Thinking Of You" helped make that track a standout on his Melodies album).
A diverse, yet grounded LP chock full of head-turning sounds, Curiosities further pushes Lord Echo's repertoire into the realm of the inimitable, and is sure to pique the interest of discerning music lovers from down-under to the Big Apple.