Edan, Echo Party

Sjimon Gompers

Edan, Echo Party [Five Day Weekend]

The
pursuit of the epic funk jam has
enjoyed a much storied existence. Miles Davis’ “On the Corner” pushed the groove
into a groundbreaking four suite song cycle, James Brown produced his in-house
band the J.B.s in the '70s with a massive funk “house style” on his Funky People imprint and now
Edan Portnoy has made his own half-hour funky beat homage/collage Echo Party on the Five Day Weekend label.

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Edan honed
his behind-the-board chops producing for folks like Akrobatik, David Holmes, Mr. Lif and Souls of Mischief along with his own solo
outings in Primitive Plus(2001) and Beauty and the Beat(2005). The
task of tackling the funk jam construct synonymous with Edan's ubiquitous obsession
with James Brown’s “Funky Drummer,” although Echo Party operates far beyond his Sound
of the Funky Drummer mixtape of various hip-hop samplings. Edan set out to create a sound
statement tantamount to the former’s influence and mastery by digging through
the sound archives of Magic Records, P & P, Chocolate Star and more to
create a new sound armed with dancehall lasers and a reassemblage of that
crucial percussive transition of the disco’s evolution to the hip-hop beat.

With
four years of anticipation building behind this release along with his
exclusive access to the Traffic Entertainment Group’s extensive back catalog,
Edan presents Echo Party as a cut up of '80s proto-hip-hop samples and beats accompanied by his own instrumentation. There
are insertions of classic rap, “rock the house” call and responses, that move along
on an ever shifting groove with synthesizer effects that would make Herbie
Hancock smile upon hearing their sequencing. Edan’s choice not to rhyme over his funky
tapestry can be forgiven with the precise
layering of late disco production textures with break-dancing beats and chants
that invite you to “get on the drums and rock their world.”

That
elaborate task sees him seamlessly blending drum breaks that represent Echo
Party
's polymorphous backbeats. Edan commanded his
craft on the project through the usage of synthesizers, guitar, percussion, echoplex, glockenspiel
and kazoo, making for an anachronistic and adventurous entry as a purveyor of
the aforementioned epic funk jam. A production that should be heard to be believed,
it will reaffirm your faith in the fundamentals of Afrika Bambaataa and the
Zulu Nation, as well as the vast expanse of possibilities that still remain
through further explorations of patchwork pastiches in sound.

 
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