Saturday, December 22, 2012

Album Review: Melody’s Echo Chamber – Melody’s Echo Chamber

French singer Melody Prochet uses her supposed ‘echo chamber’ to full effect on her debut album. Typically, her tracks begin with about 0:05 or 0:10 of relative quietude and bottom-of-the-scale frequencies, before the synthesisers appear and the plus-10kHz frequencies light up with red. ‘Endless Shore’, at track number six, is the definitive MEC track in this regard, with a fairly consistent block of red-level intensity at the 10-15kHz mark, while the highest frequencies primarily remain only in blue. The pattern is more or less repeated on another stand-out track ‘Some Time Alone, Alone’, which proceeds along with a similarly shoegaze-like spectrography.
'Endless Shore':
'Some Time Alone, Alone':

Other tracks dial down the energy a touch: single ‘I Follow You’ has a milder, bluer, and more stable profile than the two tracks mentioned above. Seventh track ‘Quand Vas Tu Rentrer’ though stands out in contrast to a lot of the album (its lyrics are in French, for one thing). It stays mostly in the sub-5 kHz range, particularly at the start of the track which has only a few, repeated notes and the faint strands of Melody’s distorted voice. The track then builds up gradually, and only starts to move well up the scale when the drums enter in around halfway through.
'I Follow You':

‘Quand Vas Tu Rentrer’:

However, the greatest activity at the upper frequencies comes on two of the later tracks – ‘IsThatWhatYouSaid’ and unexpectedly, the closer ‘Be Proud Of Your Kids’. Both are essentially instrumentals: ‘IsThatWhatYouSaid’ is purely one, and its barrage of loud, spinning noises keep it nested in the double-digit kHz range.  Meanwhile, the sound of ‘Be Proud Of Your Kids’ is more intense than it may first seem given that its most memorable component is a young girl speaking shrilly in French. In reality though, that actually forms a minor part of the overall file, which combines a cluster of instruments with Melody’s largely indecipherable but sufficiently vociferous lyrics.    


‘Be Proud Of Your Kids’:

All in all, ‘Melody’s Echo Chamber’ is a debut that doesn’t flitter around in the lower ranges, but continuously reaches for the 22kHz border. Some audiophiles might prefer that there was a bit more variance in how the tracks progress, but those who like their spectrograms splashed in red with a splatter of white will surely not be disappointed.

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