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Music Review

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Echo Collective Plays Amnesiac


Artist: Echo Collective
Label: 7K! Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 30 March 2018

Echo Collective deliver an atmospheric and intense neo-classical rework of seminal Radiohead album Amnesiac. The project came about thanks to a concert residency at the Brussels venue Ancienne Belgique. Part of the commission was to reinterpret either Kid A or Amnesiac. They chose the latter because it had more layers, more complexity, was a little more esoteric, and arranged it for string trio, harp, piano, bassoon/contrabassoon, clarinet / bass clarinet / baritone saxophone, and orchestral percussion...

As I always do when reviewing music. I stuck this album on without reading the press information or even taking a proper note of the band or the album title. On a first play through I try not to focus on the music in order to see if the album attracts my attention. For the most part I thought it was an enjoyable, instrumental album... but, as I wasn't really focussing on it I didn't spot that it should have been very familiar to me.

'Knives' came on (although I didn't know the track title at that point) and I thought: "Blimey! That's a bit too close to a Radiohead track!" I couldn't place it, but planned to look it up later. I used to be quite a fan of Radiohead, but I haven't played any of their stuff in an age.

Once I'd played the album through, I picked up and read the press information and was surprised, and more than a little delighted to discover that Echo Collective had in actual fact reworked Radiohead's Amnesiac (2010), an album I only had a passing familiarity as I'd stopped buying their album's after OK Computer (1997).

While the bare bones of the original source material are clearly still on display, Echo Collective's reworking is a beauty to behold.


Nick Smithson

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