Review: Echo Movement – Music Played On

Review: Echo Movement – Music Played On

Echo Movement – Music Played On
Track Listing
1.) Ganja
2.) Music Played On
3.) One Shot
4.) Binaural Sunrise
5.) Bring It To You
6.) Things I’ve Done
7.) Down Time
8.) Red Sunday

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: Sept 13th, 2011
Record Label: Jersey Shore Island Beat
Official Website: Echo Movement Website

Group Background:
New Jersey’s Echo Movement was formed by brothers Stephen and David Fowler along the eastern seaboard in 2004. The name Echo Movement is a reference to Generation Y, otherwise known as the millennial generation. Over their seven years of existence within the reggae scene, the brothers have recruited five musicians with brilliant resumes in the business. This included the addition of a horn trio in 2008, and in 2009 the band was met with immense success following the release of their third independently produced album titled In The Ocean. The group then proceeded with their first nationwide tour, including a leg on the Warped Tour of 2009 and in support of fellow New Jerseyans, Streetlight Manifesto.

Echo Movement has been outspoken about many sociopolitical subjects through their music. One of their strongest contributions has been in favor of the National Organization of the Reformation of Marijuana Laws (NORML), and they have donated five percent of all In The Ocean sales to SurfAid International, an organization that aims to help isolated Indonesian communities.

In 2010 and 2011, Echo Movement has been busy recording new songs and remastering old material in their self-made studio. The album also appears to be one of the only contemporary albums to intentionally use binaural beats, which reportedly have been utilized to reduce anxiety by people functioning in field of neurophysiology.

Album Review:
It was a number of years ago that Echo first fit the musical demeanor in a transformed genre that is reggae. Self-classified in the ‘New Reggae’ genre, The Jersey natives’ music has been dispersed amongst my iTunes playlists since day their self titled release. Hefty skanking rhythm progressions, plenty of special effects, and the care-free voice of Stephen Fowler define Echo Movement’s approach to merging original melodies and good vibes.

With this album, Echo Movement revives a number of previously released songs and a track that is solely a showcase of binaural beats, which are rarely used in modern music. As for their remastered songs, the addition of five full-time musicians truly extracted the cream of the crop to human ears. In addition to multiple hearty brass solos, I heard measures complimented by the flugel horn, the flute and even a sitar, which is a stringed instrument that was cultivated by Indian cultures roughly 8 centuries ago. During the second half of “Red Sunday”, Echo Movement flaunts their talents even further by dipping into Indian history with the echoic sounds of the sitar, a stringed instrument that has been in use for over 800 years.

One of my favorite sounds is produced by synth keyboards. In numerous spots they may fill in for the guitar as the skank, but David Fowler has much more of a role than before. “Down Time” is a spicy track that debuted on their 2006 album “On My Way”. This song confirmed that Echo Movement made an effort to ensure that both the message and the musical capacity carried the same weight. Also in “Down Time” were resounding solos that rang from a tenor saxophone, the electric guitar, and the keyboards.

The younger of the Fowler brothers’ lyrical agenda often refutes oppression but ultimately blueprints their ideals about the optimal route to happiness. “Ganja” was an excellent introduction into the album. The horns carry the fundamental harmony throughout the song. The guitar work and vocals are dosed in reverb, the bassline is almost mesmerizing. Fowler sings about marijuana prohibition in the United States; he even references Harry Anslinger and his campaign against the use of hemp instead of paper back in the 1930’s.

As much as Echo Movements reproduced songs featured on Music Played On knock me out of my element sometimes, I wish they would have prepared a few unheard songs for the album. Most of the songs were written early on by Fowler brothers. However, they added heaps of detailistic riffs, solos, and a number of new instrumental qualities. It seems like they have a mini jam session or solo in each song. In some songs there are more solos than there are verses. The second track titled “Music Played On” is my favorite examples of a song with an expansive jam session tied to it.

Echo Movement’s newest album is undeniably short but infinitely sweet. Complexity can often create enormous gaps for musicians to develop, and each member of Echo Movement contributed to the instrumental masterpiece. Be sure to listen on your favorite pair of headphones to hear the binaural frequencies and the bass-driven progressions. I would suggest picking up this album as Echo Movement’s musical boundaries have only expanded.

Written & Reviewed by: Matt Emodi

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]