The cassette cover of Echo’s Disintegration features Alliyah Enyo dressed in silk robes, her arms outstretched in a gesture of devotion. She is surrounded by the ornate pews, pulpit and organ of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh. This image captures the essence of the record, which explores notions of reverence, memory and spatiality.
The B Side is dedicated to a live recording of Enyo singing in the cathedral, its stone walls refracting and echoing her ethereal mystical voice. On the A Side, the performance is transformed via reel-to-reel tape loops. In this way, Echo’s Disintegration encapsulates two poignant and interlined themes – the way that sound is splintered into dissipating fragments through spatial dynamics and electroacoustic manipulation, as well as how cavernous, reverberating spaces evoke a sense of the divine.
Opening track HYMN *4 empty club* is a seven-minute odyssey paying homage to vacant dancefloors. Enyo’s voice is full of longing and heartache, generating a sense of emptiness and enormity. On when my mind is quiet i drift 2 u *water2wine* her wordless singing solidifies into a layered refrain referencing the proverbial Biblical story. However, the full momentum is reached with The Healer, in which naafi adds a beat and a looped, breathy inhalation, interrupting the ambience with a gentle 100 bpm pulse.
The cassette is released by Glasgow label Somewhere Between Tapes who take a poetic directive to curation offering musicians lyrical prompts to work from. This approach shines through on Echo’s Disintegration, whose conceptual underpinning and otherwordly composition are equally matched.
Text by Hannah Pezzack
The Wire, Issue 468, February 2023