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echolyn | mei

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by echolyn

With a history dating back fifteen years, echolyn continues to develop and redefine a compositional style best described as melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and dynamic - music that is progressive in the truest sense of the word. Defying categorization, while
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. mei
49:33 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
With a history dating back fifteen years, echolyn continues to develop and redefine a compositional style best described as melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and dynamic - music that is progressive in the truest sense of the word. Defying categorization, while achieving critical acclaim from all around the globe echolyn continues to bend the ears of the world's listeners.

The seeds of echolyn were sown in the late 1980's when Brett Kull, Raymond Weston, and Paul Ramsey played in a cover band named Narcissus. In 1988 Narcissus disbanded as the members tired of cover tunes. A year later Christopher Buzby joined Kull and Ramsey to form echolyn, a band that made a conscious decision to focus entirely on original music. Weston soon returned to the fold, and they began recording their eponymous CD echolyn in 1990. Kull, Weston, and Jesse Reyes manned the bass post until Thomas Hyatt joined permanently during the recording process of this first album. "echolyn" was released independently on Bridge Records, and the first pressing quickly sold out. The CD was for a while one of the most sought-after collector's items in progressive rock, fetching over $100 at the Ebay internet auction site. echolyn was a welcome breath of fresh air in that generally lean time for progressive music.

In 1992, the band released "suffocating the bloom," now generally regarded as an early '90s progressive rock classic. The album honed echolyn's trademark two-and three-part harmonies with tight, contrapuntal instrumental musicianship, and featured the 25+ minute A Suite for the Everyman. Lyrically it deals with the loss of childhood innocence and idealism. In the spring of 1993 the band privately released the 4-song unplugged mini-CD ...and every blossom. However, it was suffocating the bloom that attracted the attention of executives at major label Sony/Epic Records, and the band contracted a multi-album deal in the summer of 1993, which included the release of their next full-length album on Sony/550 Music. During this period echolyn gigged extensively and performed sold-out shows throughout the Philadelphia area, most notably at South Street's "Theater of the Living Arts." They also opened three shows up and down the East Coast for progressive metal band Dream Theater. echolyn also performed a feature set at Progfest '94 in Los Angeles prior to the release of their Sony/550 Music debut.

In the spring of 1994, the band recorded their first CD for Sony in Nashville, TN. A major label deal would not corrupt echolyn's musical ambitions. "as the world" was, and is, an uncompromising piece of echolyn's musical output. The album was released in March of 1995 to tremendous acclaim in progressive rock circles. People spoke of echolyn as the best chance at the time for wider mainstream acceptance of progressive music, however Sony maddeningly refused to support touring, echolyn's best way to reach new ears and their musical lifeblood, which marked the beginning of the end to echolyn's short-lived major label career. The band headlined the inaugural ProgDay in North Carolina in September 1995, without label support and shortly after were dropped by Sony. Hyatt and Buzby left the band, and after over 250 live shows and 4 studio album releases, echolyn had seemingly met its end. A 'posthumous' recording entitled when the sweet turns sour, was released on SynPhonic and Cyclops, GFT in 1996. This CD consisted of working demos of unreleased new songs, an acoustic version of Meaning and the Moment, a cover of Where the Sour Turns to Sweet originally arranged and recorded for a Genesis tribute album, and live tracks from the ProgDay '95 show.

The members of echolyn, however, remained very active in music. Kull, Ramsey, and Weston formed Still, which released "Always Almost" in 1996, focusing on songwriting in a hard-rock format. Renamed Always Almost, this trio released "God Pounds His Nails" in 1997, which featured a Gentle Giant cover of "Aspirations" among other well-written progressive-influenced hard rock songs. Both of these recordings were on Georgia-based Pleasant Green Records. Kull and Ramsey also started recording and touring with the major-label folk-rock group Grey Eye Glances. Meanwhile Buzby formed a new band named finneus gauge with several other musicians, including his brother Jonn on drums, and released two albums of intricate jazz-fusion influenced progressive rock, "more once more" (1997) and "one inch of the fall" (1999), to worldwide critical acclaim. Keyboard Magazine picked more once more as "One of the Top 5 Records of 1997" in an editor's poll, while Guitar World recognized finneus gauge as "One of the 10 Best in the Current Progressive Rock Underground" in 1998.

In the spring of 2000 the members of echolyn returned with a brand new collection of 10 songs and their first studio album in over four years, titled "cowboy poems free." The band line-up featured original members Buzby, Kull, Ramsey, and Weston, along with new drummer/percussionist Jordan Perlson, a student of Chris Buzby's from Abington Friends School, who currently attends Berklee College of Music in Boston. echolyn played a couple of live shows in support of cowboy poems free, most notably the stifling hot jam packed NEARfest preshow in 2000 and a Theater of the Living Arts show in support of Transatlantic. echolyn retired to the studio after the summer of 2000 to begin meticulous work on their most recent album titled "mei" - released in June of 2002. Always striving for the next challenge and musical adventure this album pulls out all the musical stops and is the most diverse echolyn recording to date. Featuring several guest musicians on timpani, marimba, vibraphone, clarinet, flute, violin and cello, and clocking in at just under 50 minutes in length, "mei" is as close as echolyn has ever come to writing a modern symphony/tone-poem.

echolyn's first double-disc DVD is due out this September 7th, titled "stars and gardens". It will feature a live version of "mei" with the full chamber orchestra as well as many classic echolyn songs from the The Sellersville Theater show in May of 2003. It also includes an 'interviews & outtakes' disc featuring many stories, making-of-footage from each album, and video spanning the band's 15-years together.



to write a review

Marcelo Mourgues

Un fan chileno del progresivo
Estuve como 2 años tratando de comprar este disco desde este pais lejano, al fin lo encontré en CDBABY y lo que he escuchado me ha gustado mucho a pesar de que lo he escuchado solo 2 veces, con 2 mas lo encontrare maravilloso porque este grupo lo es. A pesar de que no entiendo el ingles a la perfeccion la música es great.


1 song 49 minutes, priceless
Mei can perhaps be qualified as the most daring project by Echolyn. 1 song, 49 minutes of absolutely wonderfull song writing. This CD deserves to be listened to. I wouldn't be surprised if little bits of Mei end-up in Top 100 Billboard songs by more 'trendy' outfits.... The only drawback to this CD: lyrics are not included...If nowadays you buy the CD you expect something extra....

Charles R. Husson

Echolyn continues to deliver great music!
This is music that gives up new rewards each time I put it on. Certain riffs and melodies appealed to me at first listen, but repeated listenings have revealed its inner beauty. There is a scope to it that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts, and the gentle segments make the driving parts seem even more impressive. The thought that occurred to me during the most recent listening is that this complex music, put together with a lot of attention and care, so that it will be as stimulating ten years from now as it is today. Many will probably find it dense, confusing, and inaccessible; for those willing to really listen, it will be endlessly entertaining and provocative.


Give this the opportunity to grow on you
It often takes a few listens for an album to grow on me, but this one set a record. It KEPT growing on me with every listen for about a year, until it became a huge favorite. Echolyn is a prog-rock band out of Pennsylvania, that has gradually gone from having more chops than ideas to being the best hope for the future of prog. "Mei" is a single 50-minute album-length song, in the footsteps of "Thick As a Brick". And it's every bit as good, full of alternating fast and slow sections, with most musical themes getting reprised seomwhere on the album. The fast sections rock harder than anything Echolyn has previously recorded. William Barnes continues the great clean, crisp production he provided on 2000's "Cowboy Poems Free." Lyrically, the band's website bills "Mei" as "...a combination of Jack Kerouac's 'On the Road' and Dante Alighieri's 'Inferno'". On "Cowboy Poems", keyboardist Chris Buzby made the decision that he was going to minimize his use of synthesizers in favor of electic piano and organ, and that choice helps to give "Mei" a timeless feel. There is none of the neo-prog excess of earlier albums like "As the World", though Echolyn still loves to change time signatures. "Mei" and "Cowboy Poems Free" are the two best post-1980 progressive rock albums I've heard.


For me they are the obvious sequel of Gentle Giant , Genesis and Bowie .... !? .... with a unique voice of their own . When many so called progressive bands only tends to preserve old expressions, Echolyn is truely progressive .

louis b de la s

This is surely the best echolyn album for me and one of the greatest prog album in the 2000's. One amazing song, very mature, pure beauty, a must have for prog fans.

Jon Wallace

Hear this album if you know what's good for you.
If given a fair chance to grow on you, you will surely find that this album is a masterpiece, worthy of legendary status. It is, simply put, one of the greatest pieces of music ever written. To not hear this album is to miss out on the very best that life has to offer. Do it for yourself. Hear Mei. Thank you Echolyn.


My new favorite Echolyn CD
This album is gorgeous from front to back. It flows effortlessly from one episode to another, and presents a sweeping landscape of emotions and musical ideas. Thematically, Mei unfolds as a brooding and sometimes anguished travelogue, working its way towards acceptance--the lyrics are without a doubt some of Echolyn's best. In tune with the theme, instrumentation on this album tends towards a somewhat more vintage and nostalgic sound, with plenty of rock organ, snatches of blues-tinged guitar, and a subtle and effective use of strings, woodwinds, and vibraphone. But the music itself is consistently fresh and wonderful. Highly recommended!