7% Solution — All About Satellites and Spaceships
(XRAY7, 1996, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-02-01
Now here's a novel idea: With each CD you sell, include an extra copy of the disc for the buyer to pass along, thus spreading the word about the band. That's precisely what this four-piece from Austin, Texas have done; each copy of the CD contains, in its handmade cardboard cover, two identical copies of the disc with the instructions 'Please give this copy to a friend.' With a lineup of dual guitars, bass, drums, vocals, and heavy atmospheric effects, 7% Solution creates a sound which is at once driving and intensely spacy; using heavy echo and ambient guitar treatments (no synths are credited), each song is awash in a sea of psychedelia. Voices are used to good effect to further induce the seemingly everpresent dream state; multi-tracked backing voices, taped low level spoken parts in the background, attack-delayed and echo loops all contribute to the swirling maelstrom of effects. The basic songs are quite good as well, balancing delicate quiet passages with heavier parts building mood shifts and contrasts. Some may be reminded of Porcupine Tree, but while P.Tree has a patent early 70s Floydian feel, 7% Solution tends to have a more energetic structural approach and recalls the mid- to late-60s San Francisco psych a bit more. Landberk's dark and gothic approach might be another point of reference. In all, this is an excellent release that all fans of neo-psych should wholeheartedly enjoy.
Related artist(s): Seven Percent Solution
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From the press release:
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water takes from Echo Us' past and spins it into a whole new direction, one closer to traditional acoustic Celtic music than ever before.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water was composed and recorded during the first few months of 2017. Although Celtic influenced and comprised of a number of re-workings of Irish folk tunes and Breton aires, the album is still in large part new and original Echo Us music that fits right in the Echo Us ‘canon’. “Wake” is a natural progression from “A Priori Memoriae”, which was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2014.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is Echo Us’ ‘Celtic’ album that was planned for a long time but never executed because of the work on the trilogy that came before it. The album title is a typical ‘Echo Us’ play on words which one can find their own meaning.
“It is also both evocative of the Oregon rain, which I am told is not too unlike the rain in Ireland.”(Matthews)
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is also a comment on conception- which was unintentional when the lyric was written. Matthews surprised himself a few months after writing it, realizing that the song was actually about the nitty gritty, biological workings of what happens when a child is conceived. The folk song it derives from musically describes a courting ritual, one that even today we can all relate to in our own way.
“Come With Me Over the Mountain" in acapella was the musical inspiration for the song, and came into my consciousness after the lyrics were written a few months prior. “ (Matthews)
As with all Echo Us recordings, a number of seeming coincidences resulted in connections being drawn where prior there were none. Another experience of similar capacity was found in oboe samples from A Priori Memoriae that echoed the traditional “May Morning Dew’, also reworked for guitar on the new album.