If you're in to Indy hip hop,
you've probably seen Echomaker
before, or at least some piece of it. Think of it like a super-group
Echomaker takes an artistic approach to spoken word and rap by
injecting it with soulful jazz, lively beats, and superb
Watching the group perform on the
vast stage of Fountain Square's White Rabbit, I recollected
fragmented memories and experiences with each of Echomaker's
members over the past few years. There was that one time at The Indy Hostel
Hostelthat rapper Corey Salas moved me with his spoken words. There
was that one beat battle at Northside News where I watched Neil Cain
sing, play the keys, and drop beats... and that other time I saw him
at Big Car selling beautiful Pattern Hungry merchandise. There was
this art show I once went to in the basement of a random gallery on
Prospect Street in Fountain Square that vibraphone player Dan Marquis
showed up to. I think he was there to take in the visuals, but when
the house band asked him to sit in on drums, he quickly accepted the
What I'm getting at is that these
people are extremely creative and full of artistic energy. While each
member of the group has been involved with countless projects and
shows around the city, it feels like they've finally struck the
perfect chord. All the right elements have been combined to create a
sound that's groovy and accessible, yet imaginative and cutting
The show consisted mostly of tracks
from Echomaker's new EP, Concrete Seeds. Marquis' jubilant
vibraphone was most noticeable on "Step Back," giving the song
the effect of a dream-like state of mind. Trombone and bass guitarist
Dietrick Klooster was animated in every move he made- acting out the
lyrics of songs and dancing with remarkable fluidity. I was taken
aback by Cain's passionate guitar playing. I had only seen him on
keys in the past and found pleasure in his emotional facial
expressions as he performed.
"Unassuming Paths" was my
favorite song of the show, presented in an extended version that
included a rowdy breakdown half way through via Eric Brown on drums.
Cain delivered an awe-inspiring guitar solo and Salas addressed the
audience directly, "We're gonna break through all of those
barriers!" Incredibly groovy with just a pinch of funk, the track
was by far the most engaging in their repertoire.
attendance was light inside The White Rabbit Cabaret as Echomaker
concluded their set, there was a noticeable demand for one more song.
After a brief conference by the band on stage, Salas announced an
encore of two mashed-together songs the band is still in the process
Echomaker is currently supporting
their new EP, Concrete Seeds, with local gigs and hopes to
tour regionally in the spring. Downloads and CD's are available on
their Bandcamp page.
Echomaker performs live at the White Rabbit Cabaret.