Echo Orbiter – Euphonicmontage

Echo Orbiter – Euphonicmontage

For electronic duo (and brothers) Justin and Colin Emerle, Echo Orbiter seems to be the basis behind their immense love for opening the walls of sound to fill any possible space with tormented glee. Such euphoric experiences come in patches with songs that bristle with heavy drums, synth-laden structures and keyboard-drenched instrumentation. While the machine they’ve created leaves much to be desired, there is plenty to be said for avid experimentation. The kind that they’ve formed on Euphonicmontage is the kind that stays embedded in your mind; the kind you find yourself reaching for, more often than not. That unsettled feeling is the aim and, for the most part, the Emerle Brothers succeed.

It’s not so much that stretching the sound makes everything sound that much brighter and distinct, or even the fact that adding layer after layer of convoluted treatments add up for a true cacophony of experiences but, for the most part, Echo Orbiter simply believe in the old standby that challenging ears and minds with new ideas is essential. The desolation of the trippy experience on “Contract with the Devil in Salem Woods” is enough to startle even the most playful of ears. It’s almost carnival-like sounds and chants recall the Elephant 6 like no other. That is, until the ensuing, “A Cops and Robbers Shoot ’em Up,” hits with the scent of Of Montreal around every corner. These are experimentally lucid developments (as confusing as the titles of the songs may be) and, even just staring at the cover, Euphonicmontage is a strangely entertaining passage of mystery.

And those titles don’t necessarily possess the greatest weight of significance, either. The music isn’t fitted to mold any kind of mood or feeling and, often, the brothers sing about nonsensical ideas and figments to fill the melodies with words. So while the opening tale of “This Worm in Rigor Mortis” is an atmospheric, MGMT-inspired stomp, it’s all about the overall scope and very little about the long-winded title. Sometimes the ideas wear thin, like on the idea-missing folly of “A No-Headed Magician Born in Philly Today,” that by the time the guitar comes around the bend, it’s far too late. But Echo Orbiter always maintains a sprawling wit that beguiles their ability at contorting waves of sound into massive condensation.

There’s a certain degree of issue with the sequencing – any Tarantino fan will be startled when hearing the opening fanfare of “Bicycle Superstar” – but nothing too dismissible. The aforementioned song evolves into a folksy, electronically-infused Animal Collective look-a-like that feels both fitting and comfortably suited. That’s most of what Euphonicmontage is about; the rest is about moving yourself to another mode and medium: learning to accept a different breed of ideas. For Echo Orbiter, these ideas seem to have no end and, eventually, they’ll all be pieced together.

“This Worm in Rigor Mortis” by Echo Orbiter

Looking Glass Workshop