San Eco combines the unique approach of two musicians, one with a footing in innovative electronica, the other in bombastic indie pop.
Five years in the making, their debut album ‘San Eco’ finds them drawing influences from Fela Kuti to Slint, Nathan Fake to R.E.M, into a delicate and emotive electronic alt rock treat.
Morris Cowan (Adam Taylor) cut his teeth in the electronic music scene in the mid-noughties, and since then has released for Nottingham based Wigflex imprint and German label Zaubernuss. He has built up notable admirers, having had his tracks championed by Mary Ann Hobbs and Tom Ravenscroft on their BBC Radio 6 Music shows.
Tom Edney’s brand of alternative indie songwriting has also earned him a considerable following. Never shying away from ambition, his alternative rock music has him drawing inspiration from varied subjects like Victorian Gothic Monasteries on Manchester housing estates, to his Lynchian inspired dreams. His efforts such as ‘Hands On’ and ‘The Manchester Underground EP’ have earnt him plays on many platforms as well as on BBC Radio 6 Music.
It was during the recording of Cowan’s ‘Six Degrees’ and Edney’s ‘The Manchester Underground EP’, that the two actually became aware of each other’s music - listening in through a wall between neighbouring studios. Cowan tabled an offer of a session, and five years of creativity and hard work later, they are finally ready to release their debut album ‘San Eco’, on Manchester label Beatphreak.
Edney’s catchy pop hook floats amidst Cowan’s ethereal soundscape production; 'SanEco' The captivating album is out now, and to celebrate it here is this talented duo talking about this long 5 years journey transformed in songs.
Bizzarre: Tell us what you’re up to right now?
San Eco: Just catching up on emails and eating a falafel flatbread sandwich, having finsihed mixing/editing 1st batch of songs for a music project I'm running with learning disabled adults. One of the songs is a tribute to 2Pac and Biggie.
B: Tell us 3 things that never cease to amaze you?
-That Biggie and 2Pac were only 24 and 25 when they died; they achieved so much, so young.
-How White Supremisists still have a voice and aren't sectioned to special psychiatric units for Nazis as soon as they have a record of being a racist.
- How people used to get things about in the old days. There's a great Mancinian tale about Belle Vue Zoo buying an elephant called Maharajah from Edinburgh Zoo in 1872, and having to walk it all the way from Scotland to Lancashire because the elephant wouldn't get on the train. Also heard a good one once about Chopin getting his favourite piano from Paris to a remote monastery in Mallorca in 1838.
B: What do you like to do apart of music?
SE: I run a CIC called Memody that writes/records songs with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
B: Name a song that would describe San Eco?
The song that always makes me think of us as an act, one of the main reasons for starting out making music together, was 'Walkabout' by Atlas Sound... it's a collab between Bradford Cox of Deerhunter and Noah Lennox of Animal Collective.
B: How is the Manchester music scene nowadays? What new bands or artists would you recommend?
SE: Manchester hip hop and R'n'B is hitting a bit of a renaissance atm, thanks to acts like Mouse Outfit, Black Josh and LEVELZ, as well as local label/night BPM, they've helped spawn this insane flow of talent like Lay Fullstop, IAMDDB, Woddy Green, Mayo De Zulu and Foreign Interlood... literally to name just a few!
There's a producer called Glue70 who is pretty immensley diverse. Had the unexpected pleasure of seeing him do a set in a park at a BBQ in Hulme recently, and didn't realise he's also an impressive vocalist.
You can expect great things from our pal Marco Woolf soon, his debut EP is nearly finished.
We also shared the bill with a refreshingly raucous 3-piece grunge outfit called Slowhandclap recently, they were really good.
B: What inspires you to create your music?
SE: Mainly other people's music or life experiences. The outrageous arrangement of the last song on our debut was definitely inspired by Let It Happen by Tame Impala, just the audacity of coming up with something like that. Quarter Past Midnight doesn't sound anything like that song, but we were definitely trying to emaulate it's outlandish nature; or I was at least!
B: You are releasing the album with limited edition vinyl, Do you think the format is here to stay again?
SE: I think it's become a bit of a luxury for someone with a decent disposable income, which is something I have never really had. I have friends who have incredible record collections and I envy them so much. It's a wonderful thing to have, but a pain in the arse to get about. I helped shift 1500 of my mate's records from Manchester to Madrid last year, so I should know!
It will certainly be a lovely moment when the record is available, that's for sure.
San Eco Pretty Curtains
San Eco : San Eco
B: Tell us about the new album 'San Eco' and its qualities…
SE: San Eco is just a bit of an adventure. Has its ups and downs, but is a thing of real colour and beauty. Just so chuffed with it. A few people have said it has given them an ability to just sit down and have a break from it all, but it also has some real toe-tappers.
B: What does Infiniloop mean to you?
SE: Infiniloop was just the name of the MP3 sketch I was sent from Morris Cowan, but as the song developed it ended up being a good term for something tormenting the mind and not going away, like a really nasty internal dialogue that just won't fuck off... suppose it's about combatting depression and learning to appreciate the now, when I come to think of it.
B: Your album is a source of different feelings, it is very chill, but has also some melancholic notes. What is the best way to listen to the album for the first time?
SE: An old school friend said he had it on for the 1st time camping with his family by the campfire over the weekend, which apparently went down well.
Defo one for campfires/sunsets but also feel there's a good few tracks that would sound just as good in a sweaty nightclub at 3am.
B: How it was to see this album finally come out after five years?
SE: In one word: surreal
B: Describe your music in 3 words.
SE: Medicinal, bouncy and melodic.