Echo

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Echo is the duet project between the underappreciated singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joy Askew known to some as the essential keyboardist and backing vocalist in bands led by Laurie Anderson, Joe Jackson, and Peter Gabriel and Japanese producer, multi-instrumentalist, DJ, and songwriter Takuya Nakamura. There are other players involved as well, but the closest co-collaborator is Roli Mosimann, best known as a founding member of the late, great Swans. Like everything Askew does, Echo is a deeply sensual project; feelings and sensations are embedded in the songs because the grain of her voice eases deep into the sacrum of the listener and remains there. While not ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Echo is the duet project between the underappreciated singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joy Askew known to some as the essential keyboardist and backing vocalist in bands led by Laurie Anderson, Joe Jackson, and Peter Gabriel and Japanese producer, multi-instrumentalist, DJ, and songwriter Takuya Nakamura. There are other players involved as well, but the closest co-collaborator is Roli Mosimann, best known as a founding member of the late, great Swans. Like everything Askew does, Echo is a deeply sensual project; feelings and sensations are embedded in the songs because the grain of her voice eases deep into the sacrum of the listener and remains there. While not as searing and raw as Tender City, Echo, with its laid-back downtempo electro grooves, touches some of the same spaces. Nakamura's programming layers itself around Askew's honey-dripping vocal, stretching its reach into the nether realms of jazz and soul. While the album opens with a largely effluvial version of Cole Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin," it's a momentary distraction. "Sparks From a Wheel" and "Can't Walk Away" quietly smolder from the backbeat to the ethereal basslines, and Askew's vocal swoons at the feet of the erotic, sensually charged mix; the listener can feel the caress of intentionally seductive fingers reaching for a secret place. On the other standards such as Porter's "Love for Sale," "Night and Day," Harold Arlen's "That Old Black Magic," and Jobim and de Moraes' "The Girl From Ipanema," the treatments are concerned with nuance and groove. Sounds and rhythms coalesce to bring a certain detachment to the lyrics that isn't kitschy at all, but hungrily detached. On "Night and Day," Askew pulls off the simmering desire in Billie Holiday's reading without stretching, as Nakemura's rubber-band sampling and elegant funkiness offer the tune an entirely new dimension. Just before the album closes with a reading of "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning" that would make Frank Sinatra blush, the pair's "Surrender" comes dreamily wafting from the gauze of the speaker front. Askew is in full confessional mode, seduction and its aftermath and the unexpected result that is love come running from her mouth like warm water onto a lover's bare chest. Skin upon skin, spirit baring spirit, more naked than nude, languidly drift onto the soul-deep terrain where sex, love, and need commingle to create willful surrender, the sweetest sensation this life has to offer. This is a fine debut -- beautiful and full of modern beats, sounds, and electro twists and turns -- that allows jazz its place in the mix, but aims for chill-out room fare or late-night dancefloor swoons, or better yet, the shadowed elegance of the lovers' bedroom.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/10/2002
  • Label: Watertower Music
  • UPC: 794043901928
  • Catalog Number: 39019

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Echo Primary Artist
Mark Wood Guitar
Joy Askew Vocals
Jojo Mayer Drums
Ana Maria Velez Voices
Takuya Nakamura Group Member
Technical Credits
David Mann Composer
Greg Calbi Mastering
Bob Hilliard Composer
Doug Erb Art Direction
Hiroyuki Sanada Vocal Mixing
Echo Producer
Takuya Nakamura Contributor
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Going to the edge

    Echo is definitly different from other chill out- down tempo groups. I must say the duet of Joey Askew and Takuya Takamura, giving us a certain taste that you can't easily forget. Check out the Girl from Ipanema song, it's the best cut from this album... i like the vocal arrangement, SUPERB!. They reinterprated three song from Cole Porter, and they're all nicely done....this album is good for relaxing, by yourself or with someone you love...PERFETTO!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    postmodern downtempo/jazz/lounge

    This is sophisticated, sensual electro music that threw me for a loop at first - but once I got into it, Wow! Joy Askew's intense yet understated vocals is nothing short of astonishing, and Yakuya Nakamura's music is thrillingly unconventional track after track, from the vaguely funky "Can't Walk Away" ,with its frenetic percussion creating tension with a slow, loping bassline, to "Love for Sale", with its freakish 150+ bpm percussion and bassline melded with piano horns going at half that pace. "Surrender" with its more conventional groove, would top the pop charts in a more just world. If you're into electro or jazz music and crave something sophisticated and more than a little different, it's well worth the 15 bucks.

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