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by Ecco2k

Released March 31, 2021 via YEAR0001

Reviewed April 13, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
In The Flesh (100%), Jalouse (52%), Big Air (40%)

The cavernous minimalism of his debut LP, E (2019), was an instant hook for many casual music fans as they were pulled into the world of ‘Drain Gang.’ The stunning follow-up from Ecco2k, PXE, is comparably more detailed while still nailing the same genre beats that characterise the still relatively fresh cloud rap. “In The Flesh” has gorgeous stop-start chimes and buzzes that clamber over one another, while brief, winding guitar riffs soar overhead and a consistent, tepid bassline rattles underneath. E most certainly had upbeat moments, but this is the most vivacious we’ve seen Ecco. “Jalouse” is empty of this animation, instead filling the space with white noise, giving the impression the song is recorded in the open air—as if Ecco is sitting on a tree stump while strumming an acoustic guitar like a wood nymph. Intended to be listened to on an infinite loop, PXE flows seamlessly, making it quite well-rounded and assured structurally. Ecco’s new EP strikes a balance of variety and cohesion in fresh timbres that greatly expand on his formal catalogue. – Cam (8.3/10)

After breaking out onto the scene with an all-time debut—2019’s E—Ecco2k’s PXE is a step down, but still a quality work that’s good on its own merit. It’s rough around the edges, but the high level of experimentation on here shows a lot of potential. E was glossy and ethereal, while this EP ventures into futuristic and abrasive noise pop—more evocative of Crush Resist than anything else. And even then, PXE is still very different from that. The ideas and potential for something incredible are there, and Ecco2k is without a doubt talented enough to make it. If he continues with this style on his next record, he might just solidify himself as a premier pop artist. With an album likely on the way and this serving as a mere teaser, we’re just gonna have to wait and see if he reaches that potential. – Alan (8.2/10)

To ask anyone to follow up E would be a daunting task, but for Ecco2k it’s quite simple: Make something that contradicts E entirely. The melodic dreamscapes from such a tender soul have been erased. They’ve been replaced by grizzly guitar riffs, overblown bass, glitchy electronics. Of course that tender soul is still there, it’s just embarking on an entirely different journey. A certain angst exists on PXE, and “Jalouse” feels like this beautiful combination of Elliott Smith and Sweet Trip that couldn’t have been conjured up by another artist. There’s definitely an acclimation period, but PXE is every bit as genuine as E. A full-length project will be sure to prove that for any doubters that remain. – Ben (Synth) (8/10)

Keeping true to precedent, Ecco2k is morphing to yet again reshape the mold that defines him with this new EP. PXE, while short of any real thrill and excitement, is a clear progression beyond the material of Ecco’s debut album. Signaling a motion away from the percussive sounds that made E predominantly an R&B experience, PXE is glitchy, noisy and executes poppier cadences. With not a lot of runtime, Ecco2k has successfully reset any expectations that were based solely on the success of E. PXE whets the general appetite for Ecco’s follow-up album, while simultaneously giving fair warning of his continual desire to grow and evolve as an artist. Hopefully, the best is being saved for a full-length sophomore record. – DeVan (6/10)

Cam: 8.3/10 | Alan: 8.2/10 | Ben (Synth): 8/10 | Enth: 8/10 | Pax: 7.7/10

Hadley: 7.5/10 | Dominick: 6.5/10 | DeVán: 6/10 | Peter: 6/10


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