Through pioneering technology and experimentation with classical instruments like the violin and the piano, Echo Collective has crafted an EP that is incredibly rich in textures, layers, and sounds. The Brussels-based duo formed by Neil Leiter and Margaret Hermant are a rara avis in the fast-paced, commercially dominated music soundscape of today. That’s why Mirror Image, their latest record, out today, stands out so much.
Starting with the soft Dante, the first of five songs, Echo Collective’s new EP transports listeners to a beautiful, imaginary place through melody, instrumentation and top-notch production. That calm introduction is followed by Manhattan, which has a more melancholic, somewhat magical undertone, presenting a beautiful soundscape that is as hypnotising as it is eerie. We then get to Home, a precious, enveloping track featuring the calming sound of waves. It may speak about how water is the universal element all living beings need to survive? Maybe it refers to our planet (our home, obviously) being majorly composed of water? We don’t really know, but it certainly conveys warmth when listening to it. 
That cocoon-like enveloping atmosphere grows in Wonder. Through its over five minutes, the fourth song on the record already starts with powerful string instrumentals that go in crescendo towards the second half, which feel like a starburst galaxy. Then, Echo Collective save their longest song  for last. Standing Wave stands out from the rest, which feel ‘lighter,’ as it starts with a very dark, almost pressing atmosphere. It’s even sort of unsettling. Sounds are foggier, and we still hear the sound of waves as in Home, only this time it feels like we’re lost at sea in a moonless night. 
Mirror Image is the perfect example of contemporary, experimental classical music made by prodigious musicians who aim to expand the boundaries of music-making. As the press release explains, the EP “brings together acoustic research in immersive environments; 4DSound at Monom in Berlin, DNB Soundscape at the CCHasselt in Belgium, and Wave Field Synthesis with AOI dance company in Chatham, UK.” With that, Neil and Margaret have recorded Mirror Image in a wide array of locations, from a historic library in Italy to a church in the countryside, to their own home.