ADRIAN NEWTON (loops/sound design)
ROB PALMER (guitar/electronics)
DANIEL BIRO: (keyboards)
+ Special Guest: THEO TRAVIS (saxes/flutes)
Echo Engine are an ambient/groove/electronica improv trio formed by keyboardist Daniel Biro, groove- generator/sonic artist Adrian Newton and guitarist Rob Palmer. Biro and Palmer have been working together for many years, playing live regularly and releasing ‘The Long Journey Home‘ album (Sargasso SCD28050) in 2004, Newton recently joined them and, inspired by his fresh approach to live electronics and groove creation, the trio decided to formalise their collaboration under the Echo Engine banner.
As well as being a stand-alone outfit, the idea behind Echo Engine was to allow for special guests to expand the trio’s sonic palette. First on the list was sax/flute player Theo Travis, best known for his collaborations with Robert Fripp, David Sylvian, Steven Wilson, Gong and Soft Machine Legacy. His use of live electronic processors and loopers, to create swirling textures, was well suited to the band’s soundscapey ethos. Two performances with Travis at the SoundCellar in Poole were recorded and provided the raw materials for the debut album ‘Windjammer’.
Although some of Echo Engine’s music can veer into experimental/psychedelic territories, this album, led by Travis’ layered lyricism, pushed the band into gentler, more melodic realms. The tracks on ‘Windjammer’ were named after famous winds from different parts of the globe, with Travis’ flute solo piece ‘Aeolus’ paying tribute to the Greek god of winds.
The band has just finished gigs in Southampton, Winchester and recently in Poole with special guest trumpeter Nick Malcolm and saxophonist Jon Lloyd.
About the band members:
Daniel Biro grew up in Italy and France and moved to London in 1985. A trained jazz pianist, he was nevertheless attracted to more electronic sounds, especially the Fender Rhodes electric piano which has become his trademark. He has been involved in numerous jazz, pop, rock, experimental band projects as well as writing music for film, TV and contemporary dance. In 1993 he founded the Sargasso label which has been going ever since. He has released several solo and band albums.
Rob Palmer is a member of pianist John Law’s latest project BOINK! and saxophonist Jon Lloyd’s group (which also features drummer Asaf Sirkis and bassist Tom Farmer). His eclectic musical path has also seen him playing and recording with Jamiroquai’s keyboard player Matt Johnson, improv violinist Phil Wachsmann and vibes player Roger Beaujolais. A key player on the south coast scene Rob also created the SoundCellar jazz nights in Poole in 2010 which have become an unmissable stop for all major and emerging jazz artists in the UK.
Adrian Newton is a Dorset based sound artist. His soundscapes are constructed from micro-loops and grains of sound, which are typically derived from field recordings, electroacoustic improvisations and other found sounds. He is a member of the critically acclaimed free-improvisation group Zaum and has also provided sonic art contributions to numerous community theatre events and arts festivals, both in Dorset and beyond. With Echo Engine he provides the band with an ever-changing rhythmic and textural backbone.
About Biro/Palmer’s ‘The Long Journey Home’ album:
“Daniel Biro has a distinct passion for the Fender Rhodes electric piano, which can be heard swirling, stabbing and chiming with considerable subtlety throughout this sequence of six freeform compositions. The results of a single session with guitarist Rob Palmer in which both musicians draw upon a wide range of loops and effects, each untitled piece projects a deep sense of introspective warmth.” – The Wire