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.

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