Echocord have been releasing a few 12”s every year since 2002, and several full-length CDs along the way, in the style of minimal dub techno and ambient electronica. They came to my attention first by releasing a series of Mikkel Metal 12”s, who had also been making a stir on the Kompakt label around the same time. Metal’s music has a great melodic sensibility and fuzzy, somewhat lo-fi tone, and often features organic instrumentation such as guitar. His tracks have a techno sensibility, but often stripped down to its bare elements and then experimented upon. A great series of Mikkel Metal Rmx 12”s present reworkings by a variety of dub-influenced artists I’m a fan of, including Dub Traktor and Substance. Echocord also released a pair of phenomenal EPs by Rod Modell (aka Deepchord) in ’03 and ’04, two of his best releases and also unique in that they are still actually available for mailorder today. Fenin’s 12”s are worth hearing, excellent, energetic, dubby techno. Brendon Moeller has also been an artist worth paying attention to, as each of his deep tech-house releases seems to be getting better and better (“Electricity” was a favorite last year, although not released on Echocord). Finally, Quantec is an artist to watch, one of the new breed of producers who are taking the Rhythm & Sound/Deepchord concept and basically just….. doing it again and again. But Quantec has enough of his own sound going in to his productions that they stand up on their own, and hell I love the dub techno sound so I can’t really complain, although I think it is a little bit of overkill putting out six 12”s, two CDRs, and a full-length-worth of dub techno in the space of one year. The “Unusual Signals” album from last year is definitely worth a listen, and I was especially excited by the dubstep-style remix of “Ray Of Hope” by the artist A Made Up Sound (aka 2562), which presents a great new concept in where the dub tech sound could go next. “Ray Of Hope” was released on Echocord’s sublabel, Echocord Color, which is focused on releasing limited edition, colored vinyl.