The Greek producer’s synth-driven sound shines bright on his latest LP
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Echonomist’s synth-driven productions have often circled the fringes of electronic pop. The Greek producer pushes this further on his latest full-length offering Secret Places, out 29th September on Innervisions.
Featuring guest musicians Alexandros Miaris, Avangart Tabldot, and Nadia Ali, Secret Places displays Echonomist’s unfiltered and open-eared approach to building songs. The LP moves through hazy ambient, high-spirited techno, and iridescent indie-electronica to conceive a prismatic world of divergent textures, crystal-clear in melody.
Music can take us to a place of bliss where “noise” of modern life melts away, notes Echonomist, real name Petros Manganaris, who christens his Secret Places with an introductory tonic. Created during a studio improvisation session, ‘A Sunday Morning (Intro)’ is a beatless ambient interlude formed from warm pulsing synths and a gritty granulated mist that softly peters out, clearing the way for a blast of low-end.
Second track ‘A Different Frame’ is an altogether different trip, pairing Petros Manganaris with trio Avangart Tabldot and multi-instrumentalist/composer Alexandros Miaris—frontman of London group Electric Litany—who lays his pearly falsetto vocals over a finger-snapping groove, snaking bassline, and fizzing synths.
Patros and Alexandros met in London almost 15 years ago. “I immediately fell in love with his voice since then and I always wanted to collaborate with him and connect our music worlds! Every track I did with him it felt like a ceremony,” he says. “Each time he sent me something new, I felt like the skies had opened and his voice was the vehicle to connect with something divine.”
Alexandros soars high on another three Secret Places tracks, adding his voice to the haunting indie saga ‘When In Rome’, which is both fragile and cinematic in scope. He complements the analogue ‘80s nods that lead percussive affair ‘Empty Hours’, and brings the album’s central conceit home on the alluring title track. ‘Secret Places’ is an electro-burnished gem with a heart of pop, existing at the threshold between indie and dance.
On ‘Crabby Equipment’, Echonomist plunges deeper into the ‘80s for a noodly synthwave stopover, before paying tribute to one of his musical heroes on album standout ‘High End’. It’s a meeting of minds between two of his loves: the late legendary fellow Greek Vangelis Papathanasiou who “deeply influenced” his music and the leviathan that is Detroit techno. You can hear this synergy in the track’s raw drums and cosmic synths.
Crafted during a studio session in São Paulo and featuring the hypnotic voice of award-winning singer Nadia Ali, ‘Falling Head’ reaches for industrial techno paradise. “The chopped vocals and the vocal itself inspired me and hit me in a way that I almost finished the track in five hours. Kristian (Ame) took a very important role for this track as his notes made the track more solid and accurate for the dancefloor.”
Finally, closing track ‘Unchain Melody’ delivers a fittingly emotional payoff with its soothing synth line and audio sample.
Greek maestro Echonomist represents the true definition of ‘artist’. His prolific output combined with his ability to experiment with a variety of styles, and liberated approach, are essential components of his artistic nature. Labels such as Innervisions, Afterlife, Kompakt and TAU, among others, have signed and supported his music in recent years. Working with such influential labels has not only boosted his profile but, more importantly, demonstrated that his musical ability has reached an impeccable standard, acknowledged by label heads like Dixon, Ame, or Tale Of Us. Both on a solo tip and in collaborative projects, Echonomist’s talent shines through and his packed tour schedule is a sure sign of just how revered he has become…
On the road, things have really ramped up for the Greek maestro, touring the globe to spin at clubs and festivals across Europe and the rest of the world. Appearances include: Zamna (Tulum), Hï (Ibiza), Caprices Festival (France), Fabric (London), Tek Support (New York City), Space (Miami), Stereo (Montreal), Mayan Warrior (Burning Man), AHM (Beirut), Alemagou (Mykonos) and Audioriver Festival (Poland), amongst many many more.
Secret Places follows Echonomist’s EPs Modern Wonder (2020) and Get Closer (2021) for Hamburg label TAU, 2021’s ‘Panic Attack’ feat. Jenia Tarsol on Afterlife, and Innervisions EPs Virtuality (2020) and Night Versions (2021), as well as collaboration with WhoMadeWho for their Synchronicity project on Kompakt – not to mention EPs on microCastle and keinemusik’s sub-label VOD, as well as a very successful collab with Adana Twins which hit #1 on Beatport’s Indie Dance chart.
Another gem of a release from a prolific and constantly evolving artist, Secret Places consolidates Echonomist as a major talent on the electronic scene.