Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ensemble Economique - Light That Comes, Light That Goes (2013)


For fans of: Mark Van Hoen, Belong, Mordant Music

"Praise for Ensemble Economique‘s Light That Comes, Light That Goes from San Francisco’s aQuarius Records: Drugs. Hallucinations. Isolation. Death. Some pretty classic / heavy-as-fuck metaphors run through the work of Brian Pyle, the mad genius of Manilla Beach up in Humboldt County, California.

He’s been at it for a long time now, first knocking on our door with his homespun variations of floorcore psychedelia with the seemingly inactive collective Starving Weirdos; then, there was the fraternal act of nature jamming drones through RV Paintings; and Ensemble Economique is Pyle all by his lonesome, where he’s proven deft at density of sound laced with a nocturnal pop streak that could even warrant some Demdike witchy references.

Pyle‘s hypnotic structures are deceptively simple and proven emotively effective – a lilting layer of blown-out guitar drones cycling through elegiac melodies, another layer of electronic sequences, oceanic driftings, chanted vocalizations, rasps of bowed metals, maudlin church organ explorations, or thumming dial-tone samples, with crumbled film samples of what could be some Russian / French / Hong Kong noir film of some woman frantically whispering about some crime that may or may not have happened.

The individual tracks glide into a purposeful, cinematic song cycle narrative that begins with the thoroughly gloomy, portentous opening track ‘If You Need Help’ that is a real downer of an acid trip spent staring at a ghost ship sinking in the depths of the Pacific with sand, sea foam, and black rain kicking you in the face to make the sense of hopelessness all the more real.

Pyle links the two sides of the album with ‘Ksenia’ – a track split in half of percolating acidic electronic sequences girding those female vocal samples and guitar drones. By the end of the album, his delirious slow-motion take on ’80s bombast lifts the album’s weightiness with two drone-pop ballads of marching rhythms and radioluminescent hypno-melodies. Another mighty fine album from Brian Pyle!" - Roadburn

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