Lewis Recordings / Stones Throw Records 2009
Limited Edition Vinyl (1000) / Download / CD
No track list
The enigma that is Edan returns from what seems like an age spent hidden in a Howard Hughes kind of retreat.
Four years have passed since the genius of Beauty And The Beat, and an even longer eight since the old skool shake up of Primitive Plus, first brought this Ritalin feverish mixer and rapper to our attention.
It’s been too long to wait for this hip-hop messiah to emerge from semi retirement only to release a 30-minute mixtape. Let me be fair though, this isn’t just any old mixtape, it’s an Edan mixtape, which means you should prepare to be dazzled by more of that familiar psychedelic effects drenched nonsense that is heaped onto the treasure trove of undiscovered treats, dug up especially for the occasion.
Echo Party has a lacklustre aesthetic, delivered in a rather casual and caviller manner. The vinyl version is individually hand printed by the man himself, though don’t get too excited as it’s merely a stamped image on a plain background with no info. On the CD version you get a limited edition 12-page booklet complete with all of Edan’s notes, detailing every effect change on the mix, written out in laborious show of derangement.
The music itself is a cross between the good old cassettes that used to be passed around back in the day, to the Belgium sample masters Soulwax and their infamous Radio compilations.
In fact this is a good old holler back to the late 70’s and beginning of the 80’s period Bronx block party, with an abundance of funk, soul, disco and the early stages of rap all thrown into one big melting pot ala Kool Herc.
The rich material on this record has been borrowed from the vaults of Traffic Entertainment, who have commissioned Edan to produce this mix from their vast array of samples and obscure material, which includes everything from blaxploitation to Bollywood pastiche soundtracks and long forgotten funky breakbeats by obscure large lapel wearing dudes.
Our mix kicks off with that old skool party mood, though flipped backwards and with plenty of echo and tape delay.
Rim shots and bongos are thrown in and those inevitable infectious handclaps rear up before such rap luminaries as The Coldcrush Brothers and Sypder D enter the fray.
Plenty of Streetsounds fodder like the Disco Four, Pumpkin and Hashim spring to mind, all manipulated through the control desk of NASA command via Fisher Price toys.
Just as you get some kind of purchase and steady yourself the music starts to move closer to pure lunacy as speed shifting and phaser effects do battle.
French sounding chic from outer space is effortlessly twinned with the sounds of Arabia as a rendition of The Bongo Band’s ‘Apache’ is played on a kazoo.
Edan manages to wrong foot the listener so that when you feel like you recognise a particular break or tune, he suddenly takes off in a bizarre direction or smoothers it in layers of uncomplimentary samples.
Riffs and beats pass by with greater rapid interjections as the mix progresses, especially the second halve of the mix, which heads towards the ridiculous at times.
‘Primitive Plus’ evoking grimy beats and dirty sounding coated vocals rear up as the final climatic galactic battle in an amusement arcade ends proceedings, whilst a last robotic lamented ‘thank you’ slowly fades out over the top.
‘Echo Party’ is a throwback to the much prised compilations of breaks and samples that hip-hop djs just love to come across, hoping to be the first to find a particular cut that no one else has used yet.
The short running time seems like short-changing but the sheer delirious barrage of grooves should leave you satisfied, every play will conjure up something you may have missed.
It’s great to hear a seldom-mentioned period of hip-hop being so refreshingly brought back and given the due it deserves, our main man here as found that there is still much to be learned.
This will serve as a stopgap but is it asking too much for a new album this year, I hope not.