ECCO CHAMBER #09 [ feat. SkyYamaha, Morgan Willis,DJ Sabrina The Teenage DJ, Sferro and Full Eclipse ]

The FutureSounds staff writers kick off the first Ecco Chamber of 2024 with their latest listens.

Jay’s Picks

SkyYAMAHA – Limerence

“Limerence is a state of involuntary obsession with another person. The experience of limerence is different from love or lust in that it is based on the uncertainty that the person you desire, called the “limerent object” in the literature, also desires you.”

SkyYAMAHA has returned with a beautiful & mysterious new release. The first track (Limerence) starts off with a forlorn stuttering synth pattern – bringing to mind images of a lost and lonely lover reaching out for their infatuation. Pulsating, club ready, kicks and percussion infiltrate the piece next accompanied by synth choir melodies and a throbbing bassline. Then, in comes a haunting melody and the percussive ensemble becomes more complex and evolves. Taking the listener by the hand and leading them through ever changing textures; this piece rides the line of bittersweet perfectly and left me feeling both inspired as well as a little bit sad. A wonderful blend of synth(wave?), Vaporwave and sparkling/experimental electronica.

Track 2: Limerence – Drowning in Your Rain (Deluxe Version) flips the coin and delivers something which feels much more uplifting (perhaps the subject has entered into a new stage of obsession?). The track begins with the sound of pouring rain and glitchy synth patterns, followed closely by beautifully evolving synth pads. The tone is certainly less somber and as I’m listening I can imagine rolling clouds and clear skies starting to replace the pouring rain from the intro. Towards the end the track is permeated by the return of the rain and a softly spoken vocal reciting a short text speaking about love and life. The sound design in this track is sublime.

The third and final track – Limerence (Unlocked!) brings the energy up a notch with heavy kicks and slammed percussion. This movement is very danceable and club ready, while still retaining the beautiful and mysterious vibe with the melodies and sound design. Bit-crushed elements and glitchy switch ups bring to mind early 2000s trance and sci-fi.

This is a release I would highly recommend to anyone with an interest in synth music, sound design / soundscapes, ambient, vaporwave or experimental electronic music. You can listen to the full release on YouTube (there’s also a music video you can check out) or on bandcamp now.

Thom’s Pick

DJ Sabrina The Teenage DJ – Honey

DJ Sabrina The Teenage DJ has just snuck out a 7″ single featuring ‘Honey’, the epic song that kicks off her 2023 album Destiny, and a brand new B-side entitled ‘Change Your Ways’. 

This new/old song is one that didn’t make the cut for the 41-track (!) album, so you could be forgiven for thinking it’d be totally throwaway. Sabrina takes pains in the Bandcamp description to clarify it was only omitted for sequencing, not quality, reasons.  

The song is fun, frothy retro fantasy. Repeating synth chords sit atop a slamming 90s-style drum machine beat and ear candy, including a very silly synth horn sound, fizzes about. There is an almost total absence of bass too, as if the sound is coming from a tiny bedroom TV. The heavy vocal processing and dance music-style repetition, breakdown & build (Sabrina is associated with the lo-fi house scene) give away that this is a playful modern production, not historical re-enactment. I hear clear sonic and ideological similarities with Brothertiger and Runners Club 95, artists in our sphere who share a love of simplicity and catchy, singalong pop.   

This track is less of a tour de force than the A-side, which somehow evolves from a B*Witched-style acoustic pop song to a scorching 4/4 stomper. But it is still a gently powerful anthem, pleading for a bad person to change their ways. 

Enzo’s Pick

Sferro – Chiki

Pioneering Synthwave artist, Sferro, is back with a new LP – ‘Chiki’. A collection of tracks which slide deep into Vaporwave territory, continuing their transition away from the classic Synthwave sound they helped to develop.

‘Chiki’ channels Dreamcast aesthetics and wistful nostalgia for simpler times; in this case, the artist’s childhood dream of owning the console, and the joy they felt popping open the disc tray for the first time. 

These are bountiful times for a Vapor fanbase looking to re-immerse themselves in console nostalgia, and it reminds me (conceptually at least) of Pizza Hotline’s ‘Level Select’.

Album opener ‘Twinkle Park’ sets the scene, with relentless bleepcore beats and ravey stabs; the Drexciya-esque ’Tikal’ follows, intricately programmed breaks maintaining momentum as we progress through the levels. 

There’s no duds on the album, which flies by in the blink of an eye. But for me the standout is the sublime dancefloor ready collaboration with Makeup and Vanity Set, ‘Disco Breakin’.

Grab your iPod nano edition before it’s too late!

Rob’s Pick

Full Eclipse – In Place of Power

Full Eclipse’s new long player – released on Business Casual – is a majestic tour de force,  as the veteran producer embraces an even larger canvass for his emotional storytelling. On ‘In Place of Power’, FE unapologetically exudes an energy driven by lament, frustration – but also hope. ‘IPoP’ is comprised of 12 synth-drenched tracks with a lot of reverbed drums, jagged guitar licks, stabbing piano chords – and, in two standout tracks (‘Current Sky’, and ‘Welcome Home’), a subtly-used saxophone line (played by Michael W Stuart). Yes, there are allusions to Bowie (both the Eno-partnered Berlin trilogy but also his more theatrical and commercial mid 80s period – particularly heard in ‘True Looking Glass’); but listeners will also hear Sisters of Mercy, Roxy Music, as well as the influence of 80s prog rock, 90s industrial, and goth. Unashamedly atmospheric and anthemic, FE has rarely sounded better.

If you’re quick, Business Casual have put out a cassette format in limited numbers, and I can imagine the album sounding great on a matt black early 90s Soundsystem…just watch out for that mascara run as it’s an emotional ride.

Best track: Current Sky.

Fakeman’s Pick

Morgan Willis – The Last Chase

Synthwave’s staunch and esteemed Morgan Willis is back once again with his latest EP, The Last Chase. The new 4 track collection (with the 4th track ‘One of them days’ being a Bandcamp exclusive) comes off the back of his July 2023 release DANCE and his appearance at our 3rd FutureSounds event last summer.

Dripping in 80s guitar licks and thumping baselines, the opening track ‘The Last Chase’ quickly develops into a future outrun classic. Shades of early synthwave are so apparent here whilst also simultaneously sounding extremely fresh and original.

‘Déjà vu’ continues this high energy release with bang. Morgan’s production here is as clean and crisp as you could possibly imagine. Each synth feels perfectly placed, perfectly toned. The percussion makes even the smallest of beats sound huge. Ear-worm of the highest order!

Track 4, ‘One of them days’ drops the tempo somewhat and throws us back to Morgan’s Miami Calling era with its slowly brooding synths to round off the EP.

A modern classic from Morgan that is bound to be soundtracking summers this year.

Leave a Comment