Songs 1986 - 1987

by Echo System

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Daniel Crommie and Jamie Haggerty founded Echo System in 1986 as a collaborative entity, initially making ambient/electronic creations and later recording some original electro-pop with vocals. The roots of Echo System go back to 1980 when Daniel and Jamie founded progressive/traditional folk group "Continuum", later that year recording their duo album "Passion & Allegory". In 1986 Daniel was already making music within the experimental electro-pop realm as a founding member of Group Du Jour, while Jamie was helming Cour Des Miracles and performing Breton and French tunes. Reconvening in 1986 they quickly recorded "Nightmares and Dreams" direct to digital with no overdubs - an anomaly at the time. In the autumn of 1986 they recorded the "Bad Medicine" mini-album on a 4-track PortaStudio and mixed it to digital during the Christmas holiday. That same winter of 1986/1987 would find Jamie and Daniel busy composing and recording pieces for their follow-up "In A Strange World", resulting in a cluster of electro-pop gems that deviated from their ambient beginnings. A few live performances recorded in 1987 resulted in several pieces they would later use on the 1990 album "Heat Lightning", which would be their last album. 2015/2016 will see the digital reissue of much of Echo System's back catalogue.


released June 16, 2014

Daniel Crommie: vocals, synthesizers, flutes, drums, tapes, cheap digital sampler.

Jamie Haggerty: synthesizers, drums, tapes, vocal on "Crack in the Wall".

Engineered and produced by Daniel Crommie and Jamie Haggerty in 1986 & 1987



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Daniel Crommie Portland, Oregon

Daniel Crommie is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist (mandolins, buche, balalaika, recorders, flutes, synthesizers, etc.) and producer (Janie Mitchell, Kaitlyn ni Donovan, Lew Jones, Karen Searcy) who has released over two dozen solo albums, numerous albums with Group Du Jour, four with Echo System and five with Saturnalia Trio over the last 25 years on the New Weave label. ... more

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Track Name: America Killed John Wayne
"America Killed John Wayne" (D. Crommie)

The boom town has a symphony
Women dress in the finest clothes
There was music in the desert
Hidden heat in the mountain snow

Children eating hot ice cream
Breathe the tested air
The promise of high-tech manna
The skull and cross-bones of beware

They said America killed John Wayne

The toll is rising, moment is near
Time to put an end to atomic frontier

They said America killed John Wayne

Somewhere in the burning sunshine
Something hotter burned in the dust
Dreams devour in the eleventh hour
The nightmares they tell us to trust

They said America killed John Wayne
Track Name: Celebrity Samba
"Celebrity Samba" (D. Crommie)

I will gladly give my autograph
But you can’t take my picture for free
See me on the chat show circuit
My broad smile beaming
Think you’ll take me home with you?
Why you must be dreaming
You must be dreaming
Do the celebrity samba!

Think I’ll shoot a few Hollywood movies
Plan to be a big smash hit
Gonna break long-standing records
Chew the other competitors to bits

Snap my fingers
Roll the eyes
Shuffle feet
Toenails tap
Pounding pavement
Lifting eyebrows
On the level
Keep it tight
Burn it up
Toss your head
A little to the left
An inch too far
Wipe that smirk
Off your lips
Jump, jump, jump…

I’ll grant you an exclusive interview
A nickel a word
And drop all the famous lines that
You and I have ever heard, like…

Bottomfish city bourgeoisie
I’m a hard-headed one track mind kamikaze
All I want is wealth and fame
And if I utilize both elbows
Perhaps a slick stage name like…

Do the celebrity samba!

Pay no attention to that man
Behind the curtain
Track Name: Waking From a Nightmare
"Waking From a Nightmare" (D. Crommie)

Swimming in the deep end
Falling without a chute
They drop a nickel in our tin
Cruel hand nuke
Cracks are widening
On fresh painted walls
Statues are smiling dead
Through a hole in the head

Waking from a nightmare
On the street of dreams

Tunnel the dark earth
Bridge the burning stream
Come down from ancient trees
That futures redeem
We all got the gun
The safety switch on
Ride away in the car
Don’t need to go far

Waking from a nightmare
On the street of dreams
Track Name: Elegant Words
"Elegant Words" (D. Crommie)

Whisper to me your elegant words
Is there something you’d like me to hear?
Tell me with your eyes if the words don’t come

Come with me to a place we remember
On a warm evening in late September
Night is a time when strange things arise

I will listen But I’m much too close to hear
Let us be beautiful in our eyes mirror
When you give me refuge there is nothing to fear
Track Name: Age of Information
"Age of Information" (D. Crommie)

A world full of numbers
Running through my head
A lifetime of wonders
In the words that we said
In the age of information

Watch your step, the message is plain
Things will never be the same again
Stay close to the heart, a moving part
Make each moment matter, a new start
In the age of information

Don’t let a difference of opinion
Stop the wheels from spinning
We’ll find what we need to know
Heed the silence, let the story grow
In the age of information

Trial and error, sink or swim
Catch yourself from falling in
Heads or tails, tooth and nail
Only believe when all else fails
In the age of information
Track Name: Strange World
"Strange World" (D. Crommie)

I like to read the recipe
But never eat the cake
I take a lot of chances
When there’s not much at stake
The suit that I wear
Sure looks good on the mannequin
But I just can’t decide
What is the equation

It’s a strange, strange, strange world…

I can’t find your number
On my calculator
Know I’ll find it someday
Sooner or later
These are moving pictures
This is the golden age
It’s too late to read the story
Already turned the page

It’s a strange, strange, strange world…

You know you deserve
All that you get
I know you haven’t seen
The best world yet
So fasten your seat belt
And cllick off the light
Get ready, get set
And hold on tight
Track Name: Crack in the Wall
"Crack in the Wall" (J. Haggerty)

Black moon rising through
A Hole in the wall
Blood red tears are
Starting to fall
In the dead of the night
A hot wind blows

A dark road leads away
From the sun
The papers tell the story
Of the deeds that are done
And the people believe
But they don’t really know

There are knives at their back
Knives at their back

Dreams are broken by
Promises shared
The man with the plan is
Sure running scared
There is nothing contained
Nowhere to go

With a knife at your back
Knife at your back
There’s nowhere to go
With a knife at your back

A pat on the back with
A handful of lies
Industrial chatter to
Cover the cries
And your eyes grow dim
Blinded by lies

A Hot wind blows through
A crack in the wall
The dreams of the schemers
Are starting crawl
In the dead of the night
And there’s nowhere to go

With a knife in your back
Knife in your back
There’s a crack in the wall
Crack in the wall
There’s a knife in your back
Through the crack in the wall
Track Name: (Is This Song) Danceable?
"(Is This Song) Danceable?" (D. Crommie)

Tell me
What’s your theory?
Is it just dumb luck?
Why are you
In such a hurry?
Are the bombs flying
And flags at half-mast?
Is there time to philosophize
Or has our shining chance passed?

Is this song danceable?

Tell me
What’s your theory?
And the meaning of all this?
Why do all the
Sore feet scurry?
Trying to get from
Here to there?
Faster and faster and
Better and better, oh tell me?

Is this song danceable?
Track Name: Brutal Beat (live)
"Blunt Instruments" (D. Crommie)

This is the brutal beat
The pulse of urban beauty
We play with voodoo sticks
And talk with electricity
You can take my breath away
But you can’t have my mind
A world of syncopated secrets
Home of scheduled time

Survival is the key
In a world where
Love can be a demolition derby

This is the brutal beat
We’ve been through all the hoops
Playing with blunt instruments
Like industrial-military troops
You can hold my frozen breath
While I take my daily poison
As we leave the animal cages
For lands of shattered reason

Survival is the key
In a world where
Love can be a demolition derby