Deepchord presents Echospace Liumin

Over several releases, Rod Modell and Steve Hitchell have found new ways to burnish barely-there dub electronics with crackly analog sheets of sound. Their "distant heartbeat in a sandstorm" ethos took the Zen-like dub ethos of Rhythm and Sound to new extremes. The difference with this second album? The sandstorm is more like a sleet storm, with a more aquatic quality. The beats throb more directly this time out, but it still sounds like a club two blocks away, and 100 metres below the city's water table. Impossibly long songs are still the norm, with the main issues being sustaining ideas once they've successfully ratcheted them up. The other more fundamental question is the inspiration behind the thumping beats. At best, it's a classic deep house sound, at worst, minutes at a time drift by without making much impact. When an out and out dub sample enlivens "BCN Dub," it feels like a hook and underlines how few of them there are. Still, the sumptuous, spacious analog sounds and push-pull of delay and reverb are usually engrossing when listened to with full concentration. Without that dedication, the music risks fading into the background. (Modern Love)