Mix Fix: Chilled Excursions with Angelica

Table for two, please...

This week's favorite, Chilled Excursions, is a weekly podcast by former on-air personality, Angelica, from San Antonio, TX. More on the jazz side compared to most of our other picks, this Cloudcast features one and a half hours of relaxed lounge music. Great music to go with a gourmet dinner at home on a Saturday evening/night.

Genre: Chillout / Lounge
Featured artists: Farid (Second Sky Remix) [Feat. Sarah Vertino], Cane Garden, Speakers, Sunset Session Group, Soho Lounge Feat. Dea Li, Mira Flores, The Chiller, Alpha X, The Sura Quintet, Polished Chrome, Anori, Klan Stein, Newton, Caia, Numaro (Afterlife Remix), Jelly & Fish, Celestial View

Edit: The following mix has since been removed from MixCloud. We apologize for any inconvenience, and encourage readers to check out Angelica's page for more great podcasts.


Insider Review: Early Morning Breaks Vol. 2

With Echolocation's second appearance on the Early Morning Breaks series just on the horizon, Massa and Tetsuroh have decided to revisit and give their own take on this 17-track compilation, which includes Echolocation's track "In the Dark."

Early Morning Breaks Vol. 02
EMB Vol 2 cover art
Released in September of 2010 by Peacelounge Records, this compilation album features some fairly established artists in the chill/downtempo/house genres, most notably Lazy Hammock, Chris Coco, Polished Chrome, and Poloroid, alongside some lesser-known, upcoming artists. Naturally, we need not go into details on the big names; many people will readily recognize the remix of Poloroid's "So Damn Beautiful," made popular by its appearance in the TV series Nip/Tuck. Instead, we intend to focus on the overall flow of the album, and perhaps spotlight some of the more obscure talent that can be found on it to deliver to you some cool artists who deserve a good listen. 

But first, a look at the big picture... To get a taste of the whole thing, we've provided the following SoundCloud stream to tickle your ears. (If you wish to skip the intro, go to 0:22 on the time bar.)

1 White Rabbit Learns To Fly - Early Morning Breaks Intro; 2 Chris Coco - My Beach House; 3 Lazy Hammock - Island Lover; 4 Deep Dive Corp. - Fired Up (feat. Michele Adamson); 5 Mikis Theodorakis, Francesco Diaz - On The Road; 6 Fil-à-Fil - Just An Illusion; 7 Eddie Thoneick & Andy P - Love Under Pressure (Chill Out Mix); 8 Poloroid - So Damn Beautiful (Chris Coco Remix); 9 Polished Chrome - First Experience; 10 Lusine - Twilight; 11 Clyb Foster featuring Sibel Köse - I Don't Want To Make A Mistake; 12 Larse - Family Affair; 13 DAO - Anna; 14 Out Of Sight - Comfort (Afterlife Remix); 15 Fat Beat Sound System feat. Hosni - Late Downtown (Accu Rmx); 16 Echolocation - In The Dark; 17 Dilek Taskin - Breeze of summer

The Whole Shebang

We'd like to mention how impressed we were with the way this album was compiled. After looking into the various artists that appear on Early Morning Breaks 2, it's apparent that each musician is doing a totally different thing in the world of electronic-based music. And even though we must admit that we liked some more than others, the tracks have been carefully selected and organized in such a way that they complement each other well and stand out better than when listened to individually. 

In fact, the album itself does a good job of telling a story. Like the flow of a daydream, it captures the essence of stream-of-consciousness. Complete with its own "emotional ups and downs," this compilation takes the listener on a mental journey from sunny to gloomy, from morning to night, from city to nature, and then back again.

Featured Artists

And so in picking through the pieces of that daydream, it's time to focus on a couple of tracks that Echolocation was particularly impressed by. For this edition of Insider Review, Massa and Tetsuroh each picked out several songs they each thought stood out on the album, and then compared their lists. Surprisingly, there was virtually no overlap, save for one song; we assume this is partly due to slightly differing tastes, but it also seems to reinforce our conclusion that the CD is very well compiled! In this circumstance, Massa and Tetsuroh have each given a description for one track of their choosing.

Massa's pick: Deep Dive Corp. "Fired Up"

This German group, which has been around since 1999, may be familiar to many hardcore fans of the chillout genre. Nevertheless, they certainly deserve more attention. To date, they have released six albums, have appeared on numerous compilations, and are unique within the genre for regularly playing out at live gigs using their own special hardware. So here's what Massa has to say about "Fired Up":

"Exotic with catchy vocals over house beats, I would say this is not one of those typical loud dance tunes. You can sit back and chill out with this track, but it's still "danceable" - very stylish. When I listen to this track, I can almost imagine a promo video, or one of those movie scenes where the main character is driving in the fog and looking back at what went wrong...

"Good for a rainy day listening session, this track sounds simple and catchy but when you listen to it carefully, you notice that it's actually edited in a very sophisticated way."

(A sample of this track can also be heard at 1:29 on the teaser mix above.)

Tetsuroh's pick: Dilek "Breeze of Summer"

"Dilek means WISH."

That's about all the biographical information listed out there on this sexy-voiced vocalist, other than that she's based out of Germany. Dilek Taskin collaborates with quite a few other artists in various genres across the electro-harmonic spectrum, though, and appears often in tracks by Massivedrum. Let's here more from Tetsuroh regarding "Breeze of Summer":

"The burning sunlight of the afternoon has disappeared, and now you turn to peer at the moon through a glass of red wine. Playing in the sand which brushes against your parched skin, you slake your lips with the wine. A dry wind gently strokes your burnt cheeks like a sunburst, while an exotic scent floats in on the gentle ocean breeze.

"...That's the image this song conjures in my mind.

"A great track with a cool and simple arrangement, Dilek's dark, breathy voice reminds me of the lingering sense of playfulness at the end of a fun night. Each and every element - the androgynous harmony, the rhythm and bass, the pad synth, and a voice like deep-red wine - melts together beautifully in this simple, well-orchestrated track."

(A sample of this track can also be heard at 6:25 on the teaser mix above.)

Of course, these are just our opinions, and we encourage you to give the album a listen and formulate your own. In the meantime, we'll keep you updated with more information on the coming release of the double-disc Volume 3 of Early Morning Breaks as it comes in.


Mix Fix: DJ Dimsa - Living Lounge

Love is in the air...

This weekend, we feature the smooth and sexy sounds of The Zone - Erotic Lounge, by DJ Disma, a UK-based Internet DJ. Now, before you send the kids out of the room, we should make something clear. Despite the name and the icon (which is itself a bit racy) the slow, rhythmic sounds of this one-hour Cloudcast are certainly romantic and sometimes suggestive, but they're not X-rated. Nevertheless, it could easily work as the 'soundtrack' for a passionate evening. *wink*

Genre: Erotic Lounge / Lounge / Chillout / Lovemix
Featured artists: Merge Of Equals, Yellow Prod, Mind Soup, Su Round, Groovecatcher, Jens Buchert, Sven Van Hees, Andrew J. & Zoohacker, A-la-carte, Polished Chrome, Aquanote, Massive Attack, Muki


Mix Fix: SiKKiM

Your Weekend Forecast: Chill with a high chance of afternoon grooves

If you're looking for some springtime downtime this weekend, head over to MixCloud and check out SiKKim, from the Netherlands. This particular Cloudcast, Nite & Day, features twelve smooth tracks and accounts for almost one full hour of relaxed but uplifting music. Perfect for lazy Saturday listening.

Genre: Mellow / Lounge / Chilled House / Downtempo / Smooth
Featured artists: Espresso Del Lago, The Sura Quintet, Deejaykul, Jimpster, Don Gorda, Sven Van Hees, Merge Of Equals, Alex Cortiz, Enigmatic, Tosca, Audio Lotion, Alex Cortiz


In the Clouds - Lullaby Edition

by Massa and Lydia Takemoto

In our first edition of what we hope will become a regular posting here, Massa has compiled a list of three beautiful tracks available for streaming on SoundCloud. This month we focused on a few deep, chilled tunes for late-night listening and sorted through some of our favorites to bring you the following electronic lullabies, which we feel are certain to carry you gently beyond the threshold of consciousness and into the dream world.

New Colours
Inner Landscapes cover art
Stage 1: Enter the alpha wave transition with Softwaver's "New Colours," from Softwaver's 2010 album, Inner Landscapes.

Deep-chilled but with a good groove, a slightly upbeat tempo, and a touch of melancholy, this dreamy and sensual track is composed with with a simple structure. But despite its simplicity, it carries a well-textured sound that touches the soul, putting the listener in connection with the composer's intentions.

About the composer: Softwaver is Alex Houser of Berlin, Germany. He also happens to be a (if not the) main member of the music label IdealMusik – the force behind the Ideal Chill compilation albums.

Available on the following albums:
Inner Landscapes
Original Release Date: 8/16/2010
Label: IdealMusik
Copyright: 2010 IdealMusik
Ideal Chill
Various Artists
Original Release Date: 3/18/2010
Label: IdealMusik
Copyright: 2010 IdealMusik

New Colours by Softwaver
Edit: Sorry! It has come to our attention that this track is no longer available on SoundCloud.

Stage 2: Slip into sleep spindles with "Unpredictable Thoughts," by Daddy's Rooster.

Despite the title's name, this track seems to put the mind into a down-to-earth and focused state. Like most of his songs "Unpredictable Thoughts" employs spacey synthesizer sounds, but the combination of the bass drum and snare drum set a relaxed rhythm to this peaceful composition.

About the composer: Daddy's Rooster is a bit of an enigmatic figure on the independent ambient scene with little public info, so we don't know much about him other than the fact that he's based in Switzerland somewhere. His tracks can be streamed from his SoundCloud page and dedicated listeners can receive regular notifications regarding new uploads by following Daddy's Rooster on twitter.

Unpredictable Thoughts - Chillout by Daddy's Rooster

A Year After cover art
Stage 3: Dip into delta-wave depths with "Dream Unique," from Nikosf.'s free EP album, A Year After.

The meditative quality of this track is accented by deep, pulsating beats and skittish background sounds, the combination of which results in a deep-house electronic track that certainly lives up to its name. Definitely well-suited for after-hours listening...

About the composer: Nikosf. is a Greek electronic musician based in Crete, producing tracks of a wide, dynamic range. His compositions possess a crystal-clear, water-like texture and a deep, driving bass line; it all combines to give an overall sound that is warm and seemingly tangible.

Available on the following album (free download):
A Year After
Label: Electronica Netlabel
Released: 9/1/2008

Dream Unique by nikosf.

Sweet dreams,
Massa and Lydia


Mix Fix: djnova

Spring is here!

This week's Mix Fix pick features djnova, DJ for Kapa Sessions Podcasts (from Greece) on MixCloud.

Genre: House
Featured artists: Intensity Of Sound, Soul Cola, Yse, Robert Owens, Dj Le Roi, Peckos, Morrisson, Marco Soundee, Pak Jones


Echolocation News Digest for May, 2011

compiled by Lydia Niehaus Takemoto

Featured topics for May, 2011:
  • Letter to fans: EP Release and Free Echolocation Track Download
  • Special $5 Offer and CD Recommendations
  • Call for Reviews/Ratings
Letter to Fans: EP Release and Free Echolocation Track Download
"Midnight Swim" now available
for free download from
Dear Loyal Fans,

We’d like to thank you all for your supporting our musical endeavors, and we’re proud to announce that as of May 1, 2011, our first exclusive EP Beauty in an Empty Glass will be available through most major online distributors, including Amazon, iTunes, CDBaby, and more.

To mark this occasion, we’ve decided to put forth a free mp3 download of one of our unreleased tracks, “Midnight Swim,” as a token of our appreciation for your continuing support. This track will be available from Massa's SoundCloud page through until May 31st. We hope you enjoy it.
Love and Peace,
Massa Takemoto and Tetsuroh Konishi (Echolocation)

Special $5 offer

Beauty in an Empty Glass on CDBaby

Self-released EP for $5
from CDBaby's Sale bin.
Beginning April 29, 2011, we have added our EP, Beauty in an Empty Glass, to CDBaby’s $5 Sale. For those of you who don't know, CDBaby is an online do-it-yourself distribution channel for independent artists, and it allows unique, aspiring musicians to distribute their music without "The Industry." This $5 discount is available to CDBaby shoppers who purchase three or more physical CDs that have been made available – at the discretion of the respective artist – in the distributor’s SALE BIN. But choose wisely! At least three CDs in your cart must be from the Sale Bin to be eligible for the discount, and only the Sale Bin CDs will be marked down. All other CDs in your cart will be full price.

Echolocation’s Recommendations

If you want to take advantage of this special but don't have any particular artists in mind, here are some awesome CDs featured in CDBaby’s Sale Bin that we highly recommend:
    And if you're still at a loss, we could always recommend Massa's solo album, desert island mix, which is also listed in the Sale Bin.

    Call for Reviews/Ratings

    At this time, we would like those of you who have Beauty in an Empty Glass to leave some feedback on distribution sites like Amazon, iTunes, etc. It doesn't have to be much – a simple star ranking will suffice – but we would love to hear from you. Also, we assume that if you're following us then you must like our stuff, but please be honest, objective, and focus on the music. If there's something you don't like, let us know. It's better for us as a band to grow (not to mention useful for potential buyers) to know what you really think of the CD – good or bad. What we really want to know is what you think of the tunes. Are they chill enough? Composed well? How does the music make you feel? Are the tracks too long/short? That sort of thing.

    Thanks in advance!
    Massa and Tetsuroh