Lord Echo: Thinking Of You (feat. Lisa Tomlins)
From Melodies (Economy, 2010)

(Editor’s note: David Terrace wrote me a few weeks back to see if I had heard anything about this NZ artist named “Lord Echo” and his incredible cover of Sister Sledge’s “Thinking of You.” I hadn’t but was absolutely taken with the song and I asked David to shed some more light on him for the site. –OW)

    A couple of weeks ago a friend handed me a disc that had been given to him by a friend from the South Island of New Zealand, who said it had been produced by a reclusive local musician and sometime electrician under the alias ‘Lord Echo’.

    As a long time Soul Sides fan, I instantly thought of Oliver when a banging disco-reggae version of ‘Thinking Of You’ greeted my ears. This had serious potential, I thought. Who was the female singer, and why had I never heard of this guy? New Zealand is a small place after all. The other tracks on the disc moved between various mutations of disco, reggae and afro with sporadic bursts of echo belting out into the cosmos – brilliant!! But who was this guy?

    A quick google search revealed nothing – except a blog detailing the exploits of a Norwegian Doberman of the same name. So I returned in the direction whence disc came. A convoluted electronic paper trail initially only turned up fragments of information – apparently this guy had been holed up in his garage, churning out this mutant disco gold since the late 90’s in total obscurity. Nothing had been released, barely anyone knew of his existence.

    Eventually, I was rewarded with a street address in a small sleepy city called Dunedin – incidentally where I plan to spend my Christmas holidays this year. You can be sure I will be paying a visit!

    –David Terrace

(Here’s some more on Lord Echo aka Mike Fabulous).




  1. NZ has quite an amazing scene for soul and reggae music. Hip-hop and disco house too. Partly it’s due to the Polynesian culture’s strong connection with African-American styles of singing.

    Check out “Rise Up” by NZ band Opensouls – their singer is a dead ringer for Mary J Blige. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTxFGeZmOkU

  2. Mike Fabulous previously released different versions of a couple of these album tracks on a limited private press 7″. There are still a couple of copies in stock at this Auckland record store if you get in quick: http://www.conch.co.nz/product.php?productid=12337

    The singer on this track is Lisa Tomlins. She and Lord Echo were previously in Recloose’s band Starblazers together…

  3. thanks for the link, Oliver. Love David’s wild story – Lord Echo, aka Mike Fabulous, has been playing in Wellington NZ band the Black Seeds for about 10 years – since they started – and has been involved in the half a dozen albums they’ve out out, plus toured NZ/Aust/Europe/UK numerous times, and done a major US tour after their latest studio album came out in the US on Easystar Records (trivia – Bret McKenzie was also in the Black Seeds, before his other band, Flight of the Conchords got busy with some tv show).

    Not exactly holed up in his garage since the late 90s, operating in total obscurity! Mike Fabulous started releasing solo tunes on various compliations in the early 2000s.

  4. wow. i’m floored. thank you so much for this post. i’ve had this on repeat all day and just copped the album. sooooo dope. happy holidays!

  5. This whole album is HIGHLY recommended. Definitely one of the best of ’10 and worth tracking down.

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