Not Not Fun
Ensemble Economique has emerged as an unusually globe-trotting creative valve for Arcata, CA, beachcomber Brian Pyle. The last year alone has seen him backpacking through Scandinavia, Europe and Russia—twice. Maybe his spirit’s too absorbent, ’cause he’s brought back some deeply heavier moods and ancient world weariness since his last outing on Not Not Fun, 2010’s demonic tribal monsoon Psychical. Recent splits with similarly instinctual psychedelic unclassifiables like Lee Noble and Heroin in Tahiti have hinted at his bracing off-roader headspace, but he bares all on Fever Logic, six songs smeared across 40 minutes. Pyle positions each composition as a slow-motion funereal landslide; grey clay electronics losing form, echoes of processed guitar, depressive synth mist, all drizzling down over his wailing prisoner’s prayer vocals. A few flirt with slightly more overt goth-gaze signifiers (“Walking into the Light,” “We Come Spinning Out of Control”), but the rest run closer to some kind of miasmic electronic abstraction mode, merging submerged mumbling and isolationist field recordings with intensely personal melodies and spacious cathedrals of ritual guitar. As with so many of Pyle’s past steps, it’s all-consuming and all out on its own (the only guest appearance is his brother, Jon, echo-plexing some occult percussion to the opening track). Ensemble Economique "We Come Spinning Out Of Control" by NOT NOT FUN
Not Not Fun
BRIAN PYLE is well-known for his enterprising shamanism as one half of Nor Cal improv gurus STARVING WEIRDOS but when off-roading in his ENSEMBLE ECONOMIQUE buggy he seems to stumble onto even weirder psychogenic artifacts. Psychical is Pyle’s freshest full-length and easily his most drugged and dense. Thick, humid banks of synth-fog descend over looped cult hand-drum patterns, strangely panned waves of brainwash tones, and snippets of third world voices mumbling about blood and marijuana. As the name half-jokingly implies, EE is 100% Pyle’s creation intrument-wise, although his wife PHOENIX does intone some possessed doom poetry over the crushing war drums of ‘Forever Eyes’ and TOM CARTER (of CHARALAMBIDES) cameos with some searing white light guitar shrapnel on the creep-out raga of ‘Real Things.’ All the pieces dissolve into one another, giving Psychical a dark-trip soundtrack mood, an upriver lost soul convoy into hostile off-radar territories, a thousand spectral voices misting down like blackening monsoon clouds. A total haunter, and an LP we’ve been spinning many midnights around NNF HQ. Black vinyl LPs in jackets with occult VHS artwork by MANDA BETH BROWN.”—NNF.