Eco warms up the EDM loving soul
Straight from the beating heart of entertainment, the city that never sleeps or the Big Apple as they like to call it, it's melodic gold that reaches out to the rest of the globe. It's the sound of Marcello Pacheco that pours down in golden drops of melody, beats and everything else needed to stimulate the EDM-loving soul. The journey called Eco started in early 2007, as his 'Light At The End' and 'Paradise Now' burst into the trance scene, praised by the elite players and loved by the crowd. Now, three years and a handful of stunning originals and remixes later, he's facing the release of his debut album, ‘M(you)sic’.
Warming up for what is about to come, he first presents new single 'Drowning', out on the A State of Trance label. Time for a glance into the musical mind of Eco - as he explains about his motives, inspiration and biggest instrument of all!
First off, thanks for taking some time to answer our questions! 2010 is coming to its end and with that it's right about time to look back. Are you happy with the past 12 months?
Eco:"Very happy, it’s been an incredible year for many reasons!"
What was your highlight – musically wise?
Eco:"Well, of course getting chosen to play the ASOT 450 event in my hometown of New York has to be ranked up there as probably the best moment. The whole night was amazing, being able to play alongside such awesome talent, see a lot of familiar faces in the crowd, and know that millions of people around the world were listening live or on their iPods the weeks and months afterward. I was a bit nervous actually! Second best moment was probably the sit-down meeting I had the month after ASOT 450 when Armada asked me to begin working on an artist album."
It was Armin van Buuren himself who said on his radio show: “Everything this guy touches turns into pure melodic gold!” Your tracks stand out and sound different and refreshing from other trance producers. What's your secret?
Eco:"That’s one of the best compliments I’ve received about my music to this day, and it’s exactly what I try to do. My secret is that I listen to such a huge variety of music. You can’t begin to imagine the stuff that’s on my iPod: ambient, poetry, progressive rock, alternative, hip hop, jazz, blues, and a little trance too. I especially get a lot of inspiration from some bands like Arcade Fire, Röyksopp, Sigur Ros, The Mars Volta, Radiohead, Sufjan Stevens, The Shins, Explosions In The Sky, Boards Of Canada and some oldies like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. What ends up happening is that when my brain begins to produce a song, the song starts to sound a lot like all of these bands, and less like other trance artists. All those bands appeal to such a wide musical audience, and similarly, I think my music does too. I’ve noticed there’s some diehard trance fans out there who don’t completely love my style, but an interesting amount of non-trance addicts that are intrigued by it. I love 'trance', however, I try very hard to sound a bit different than some of the other guys out there."
You were pretty young when you started producing electronic music. What made it so fascinating to you at such a young age? Do you actually play any instruments?
Eco:"I started at about 14 or 15 years old while I was in high school. I had this DJ obsession when I was younger, and bought a lot of hip hop music on vinyl. Also, I played piano for almost my whole life. Around that age, I discovered some CDs from the local New York trance and house scene, then got into some records I found by a wide range of guys like Carl Cox, Swedish Egil, DuMonde, and later on Tiësto, Armin, and Ferry (opposite from people’s usual path of electronic music discovery)! So I started messing around with programs like Fruity Loops and other stuff. To make a long story short, I made absolutely horrible music for a good 3 or 4 years before I got signed!"
Has it been trance music all the way or did your first productions sound different? Why did you go for trance music?
Eco:"In the past 8-9 years, I’ve done everything from minimal techno to chill out to hip hop beats. I even got sucked into the whole electro 'fart-bass' thing before it got big like it is now. This was all before I got signed though. Once I got signed, you can say I went with trance all the way. I don’t completely agree with all the directions many trance producers have taken the past couple years, but at the end of the day, nothing in the electronic music world still intrigues me more than producing pure melodic trance. Trance (and maybe some deep house) is the only electronic music out there that has some real feeling and emotion. It’s not all about the hands in the air and dancing wildly; a really good trance song has substance."
You've collaborated with Martin Roth and several vocalists. Who's next on the list?
Eco:"I have a few very exciting collaborations coming up actually. Kerry Leva, Einat, and Radmila Markidonova (one of the winners of the Armada vocalist competition) are some of the vocalists I’m working with for songs on my upcoming artist album. I’m also finishing up on a tune that I wrote together with Armin’s brother, Eller Van Buuren, it’s really epic; he’s extremely talented! Other trance producers I am cooking stuff up with are Breakfast, W&W, Joni Ljungqvist (JPL), Thomas Datt and some others."
Since 2007, you're busy producing on a high, professional level. What’s your normal work-ritual when you produce a track or a remix? Do you go with the flow or stick to an idea you had in mind?
Eco:"I totally go with the flow. If a melody pops into my head while I’m on the subway, I whip out my laptop and write it down. I have a really half-assed studio compared to most of the other artists, but I try to really utilize the most important instrument or software of all: my brain! If my almost-finished product sounds too conventional, I know I’ve done something wrong, and I revisit the songs and mess it up (in a good way, I think)."
As a result of a decade of music production, 2011 awaits us with your very first artist album. You must be incredibly excited?
Eco:"'Incredibly excited' is an understatement. Music is just like any other creative art. It’s like Fyodor Dostoevsky writing a long novel, Salvador Dali painting a ceiling mural, Richard Serra sculpting a piece of steel, or Zaha Hadid designing a museum. I’m approaching it in this way. It is not a bunch of single releases that I hope will make some money on Beatport. I really want it to be an 80 minute statement, a journey for people to get lost in. I want it to be more than the sum of its parts, something that can only be truly understood, loved, or appreciated if heard from start to finish! This is wishful thinking, but above all, I want it to be something that true all-around music-lovers can listen to and say 'wow, that’s pretty good!'"
What can you tell us about it so far? Is it nearly done yet?
Eco:"It’s very nearly done. The title of the album is ‘M(you)sic’. I’ve already named some of the collaborations that may or may not be featured on the album. It includes all different types of trance and progressive. People who really loved my tune 'Borealis' will find a song they really love on here. Or someone who loved 'Tonight Is Forever' will find a song that hits them in a similar way. I’m trying new sounds and new vibes and am just hoping that when it gets released, trance-lovers will have the same enthusiasm for it that I have. That’s the true test, haha.."
You keep on releasing one stunning track after another, you've got your own radio show and you're busy touring the world to play for countless music lovers. Are you a full-time musician or is there still some 'normal' job left?
Eco:"Actually, there is a whole lot of ‘normal’ still left in my life. At the moment, I work several days a week at an architecture office here in New York. On top of that, I am going to college full-time 5 days a week finishing my architecture degree, which I receive hopefully the month after my artist album drops! Any music I write is done on the bus or subways going to work, school, or home, with a little extra work done at home on the weekends or at night when I have a little free time. I never quite understood how a full-time trance producer could work 6 months or a year on one track. But hey, that’s just me!"
Talking about DJ'ing: When did you start doing that and do you find it as much fun as producing?
Eco:"I started dj'ing also around the age of 13 or 14. I saved up my own money for like a couple years, and bought a really shitty pair of belt-drive turntables, a no-name terrible mixer (all which I still have and use today, ten years later), and a bunch of vinyl's, everything from hip hop to Craig David and Usher dance remixes, and eventually the legit dance music stuff I listed before. I do love dj'ing to a crowd, there’s nothing to not like about the feeling of connecting with thousands of people in front of you tuned into you via their open ears and eyes. However to be honest, my true love is in production. I always wished I could think of a way to completely incorporate a 100% live show instead of dj'ing (and I don’t mean by having 2 laptops on with an already-mixed ‘set’ and pressing ‘play’ with a silent keyboard attached for decoration), but I still haven’t figured it out. One day I hope to figure out a 100% way to be able to play this stuff COMPLETELY live, maybe even if it means touring with a band haha.. I don’t know quite yet!"
With 2011 coming up very soon, we of course would love to know what else you have in stores for us? Any exciting DJ gigs, single releases, or something completely different?
Eco:"My new single 'Drowning' has just come out, a tune I’m extremely excited about. Gig-wise, I am very excited to be playing the ASOT 500 event. It will probably be the biggest trance lineup for a long time, and I’m really excited to be playing alongside some of my peers whose music I’m also very excited about, guys like: Arnej, Arty, Mat Zo, Sied Van Riel, and W&W. They are the future. It’s a refreshing and great new wave of trance producers featured on the lineup, and I’m beyond excited to have been handpicked as one of them. I’ve never really regarded myself as a popular or well-known trance artist (even now), so it’s amazing to see the support at not only ASOT 450, but 500, by Armin himself, and all the people worldwide who enjoyed my set. Thanks, Mr. Van Buuren, and all of those of you reading this who are attending, see you in Den Bosch; get your wings ready!"
'Drowning' is out now on the A State of Trance label, including a Dereck Recay remix. Get it on iTunes now!