One of the great things about surfing the internet is that you just never know what or who you might stumble upon. Yes, there are some things you wish you had never found. Though, that wasn't the case when i came across the Soundcloud page of Echö. I felt as if i had struck audible gold. After induling myself in the synthesized infection of their track "Daydream" i had to hear and know more. I immediately got in touch with vocalist, Mickaël (aka Mika) to inquire about the possibility of an interview. At that particular time, the band was on the verge of releasing their debut EP of the same name. He promised me an interview once their release plans were a bit more stable. This was close to 2 years ago and i honestly had forgotten about our talk and the pending interview. True to his word and to my delight, Mika got back in touch with me this past September. He let me know that the band was about to release their second EP, "Intangible Pupa" and to see if i was still interested in doing an interview. Of course i said yes! How could i not?!
The two man outfit comes to us from Barcelona / France and is comprised of Mika and Alexandre Portils Torner. Again, they released the delightfully awesome "Intangible Pupa" EP on September 30 of this year. Doing the release honors is Belgian based label Romance Moderne who, in my opinion, are the perfect vehicle in presenting Echö to the masses. So now, let's find out more about the band, shall we? Here are a few questions i happily whipped up for Mika.
1) Tell us how the two of you came together and what sparked the decision to start the band.
Mika: I moved to Barcelona because i was invited to a fellow artists' residence to work on my photography. I was at this party at Alexandre's place because we had friends in common and that's how we met. We then started to talk about music and he asked me if i wanted to experiment music with him and i directly said no because i felt unable to do this. I felt so lonely at the artists' residence so i began to write "Fleur Fatale" on a piece of paper. I then came back to Alexandre and things took off from there.
2) What particular aspects of everyday life influence your lyrics and the music itself?
Mika: I would say that i'm totally against pornography and things of that nature. But more subtle pornography like what you see on TV commercials and what children are seeing everyday. Pornography, violence, and sexism seems to be all the rage these days. People nowadays seem not to care about nature and the simple things like taking care of each other, offering a bunch of flowers to the one you love, or even the names of the flowers. I am very influenced by this kind of thing. How there actually are people who care for and love one another. I'm also influenced by nature, emotions, and innocence.
3) Who are some of your past and current musical influences?
Mika: Obviously electronic music and the pioneers of this genre. Really, just concrete music in general.
4) Can you elaborate on your recording processes?
Mika: Lots of beers and cigarettes! As well as spontaneous and naïve recording on the bed.
5) Have there been any live performances so far? If so, did you feel a warm and positive reception from your audiences?
Mika: We've been performing in Brussels for Romance Moderne but also in Paris for Le Bonbon Nuit. In both cities people were very attentive. In Brussels people were dancing and drinking of course. Though in Paris people were sitting, more like we were in a cabaret or theatre type of setting. One super drunk guy fell on the floor and and then screamed that i was a punk. You just never know what's going to happen.
6) How did your deal with the Romance Moderne record label come about?
Mika: It was really easy, actually. Label boss, Coco, is the best and prettiest boss ever. "une main de fer dans un gant de velours" and sort of the godmother of Echö.
7) Being that you've released two EP's at this point, do you feel this format works best for you. I ask this in a manner of quality over quantity.
Mika: Yeah, it's worked out the best. We were thinking about concept Ep's. The "Daydream" EP was very light, naïve, and with a common flowery theme as compared to "Intangible Pupa". That one is the dark twin, where insects dance. So yeah, it's a great format and we are working on a very peculiar physical release of "Intangible Pupa".
8) Now that your second EP is out there, are there any promotional band activities planned for the future? Future releases?
Mika: At this moment, a video for "Bloody Party" by Bertrand Le Pluard and a remix of a track from "Intangible Pupa" To be remixed by one who is pretty well known on the more undergound electronic music scence. For now, his identity is a secret but all will be revealed soon enough.
*You can check out the music video for "Unknown Park" @ Echö - "Unknown Park"
For more info and sounds from Echö, please visit the following: Echo @ Facebook Echö @ Soundcloud and Romance Moderne @ Facebook