There are two ways to get intimate with Berklee-schooled track surgeon Edan’s latest throwback symphony: with a head full of Adderall and Echo Party’s intimidating liner notes in hand, or with a belly full of psilocybin and no deliberate attention to detail whatsoever. I’ve tried both, and I’m still trying to decipher homeboy’s “trigger-panned snare hits,” “moog blips,” “synth noodling,” and “edit-style drum machines.”
Like all convincing beat biologists, Edan is fully conversant with the cadavers that he slices open — which, in this case, were all exhumed from Boston hip-hop distributor Traffic Entertainment’s extensive graveyard. With access to a dusty library that vinylphiles would murder family members just to glimpse, he selected rare cuts from the forgotten vaults of Chocolate Star, Magic Records, and other obscure boutique imprints.
Echo Party is dense enough to sink in despite running a mere 29 minutes (five minutes shorter than Edan’s epic 2005 conceptual feast Beauty and the Beat). And given that the disc has just a single track, it’s really one long and infinitely dynamic piece that makes “Bohemian Rhapsody” seem less fulfilling than a Rancid song. Sure, it’s frustrating that the tracks from which Edan cobbled this opus are left more or less anonymous, but at this juncture — what with the few cross-faded remnants that remain beneath his manipulation — the product is less a mixtape than a new work altogether. And despite the technological tweaks and inventive aptitude that this sometimes Afro-topped sound genius reveals in every crevice of his latest grab bag, Echo Party is true to its name and anything but tedious.