You might know David Walters from his wonderful solo project called The Echelon Effect. We’ve been following him for a while now and love his music. As a solo artist, he manages to build these incredibly vast and multi-layered soundscapes. His music soothes and provides the perfect soundtrack to many a daydream or life’s curveballs; be it good or not so good as his music often makes things better.
On February 28th, he released a new album titled Drift Ten. David shared with us that this new album “is basically a celebration of doing 10 years of TEE.” What a celebration it is. It’s an incredible album starting from its track titles all the way to its instrumentation. He also shared that he will be “following it up with some complimentary EP’s to be released soon, the first being titled Drift Static which should be out early summer. There’s a remix for Codes in the Clouds being released shortly, and [he’s] also working on a new release for the side project Random Forest.” Lots more exciting things to come from TEE.
We thought it was about time we found out more about the person behind TEE, so we asked him to pick three albums that have influenced him and his music. Check out his picks below.
Drift Ten is available here: https://theecheloneffect.bandcamp.com/
The Weakerthans – Left and Leaving
My first pick is The Weakerthans – Left and Leaving. I grew up pretty much listening to nothing but Hip Hop and Punk. This record came out in 2000 and although I’d always been into guitar music in various forms, this album was like a gateway into softer, more delicate material. I already had the first album Fallow that they had released a year earlier. This album still built on a crossover between Punk, acoustic and folk, but it found it’s own sound in some way. This album went with me to Italy on a family holiday, we had hired a car and it turned into the soundtrack of the entire trip, driving around Tuscan roads in the sun, and created some beautiful memories. It’s the record that I started to first visualize what each track was about, and hopefully, I take that into an Echelon Effect release, even with no words, I try to visualize scenes.
Jimmy Eat World – Clarity
The second pick is Jimmy Eat World – Clarity, This album is influential for a simple reason. The quality of production and melody, plus the minute attention to detail. There was a lot of ‘Emo’ around at the time, badly recorded (some of it apparently meant to be). This album came along and picked the whole genre up and restated what everything else should sound like. The huge amount of editing, extra sounds, programming, and general twisting was simply unheard of at the time. To say they took production values to another level is a massive understatement. There are tinges of post-rock, pop, indie, it has it all. I still jump in regularly as a reference, and it has tracks on it that are really important to me.
The Appleseed Cast – Low Level Owl
The third pick is the band and album that got me into instrumental music and post-rock, and basically I don’t think they can be described as either. They are not in any particular genre and are almost totally impossible to categorize. The first time I heard both volumes of Low Level Owl, I was on tour with my punk band in Europe. As I sat in the back of the car somebody threw it on and from the opening chords on the first track, I was absolutely drawn by the incredible beauty and shimmering sound. Huge expansive post-rock soundscapes, interspersed with catchy acoustic and jangly indie songs. It is basically a huge concept album in two parts and massively ahead of its time. You simply can’t skip through the tracks, as every track is reliant on each other and everything is matted together to form a beautiful 2-hour journey. The genius bit is that both albums have their own identity as well. This is the album that has had by far had the most direct influence on me as an artist. It’s taught me (although my stuff sounds very different) how to create a journey through an album and how to make the single tracks become greater than their parts. Without this album, I wouldn’t be making ambient, instrumental and post-rock music, it’s as simple as that, and that’s come from a band that technically can’t be described using any of those labels!