Ecstasy And Refreshment
Food Pyramid’s new LP Ecstasy and Refreshment calls to mind Sky Records’ 1970s kraut-pop output filtered through 1990s DC futurism—Trans Am-esque motorik pop, Game Boy console sound effects and the current Mordant Music roster, particularly Echoplekz. Disembodied voices float in and out of the mix, reminiscent of Byrne / Eno’s ethnomusicology-inspired My Life in the Bush of Ghosts or The Residents’ Eskimo. There is a strange post-DC vibe here, much like if Dischord Records’ Black Eyes played ambient synth-jams instead of Wire-y punk.The record also calls to mind Cloudland Canyon, perhaps not surprising since Kip Uhlhorn from that band mastered Ecstasy and Refreshment and is helping to release it to a wider audience. Jana Hunter from Lower Dens, Nona Invie from Dark Dark Dark, and Tony Janas and Otto Junker from Deep Earth lent their collaborative efforts as well.
***Following a split 7" and a trilogy of defining cassettes, FOOD PYRAMID emerges with their debut full-length LP, Mango Sunrise. A tireless Minneapolis trio, the three members collaborate to materialize synthesized monoliths; ranging from percolating, ambient rivers to various weirdo strains of dancehall jams. Mango Sunrise is an eclectic and spanning look into their overall aesthetic headspace. It conjures movements of kosmische-propelled euphoria, deep-space house and even their style of affected future-dub. On tunes like "Orange Alert" and "Oh Mercy," we find the trio drifting into druggy long-form dance grooves alongside rippling psych guitar and a bewildering saxophone. As much of a refined culmination as it is a hard step forward for their ever-evolving sonics, Mango Sunrise has arrived with all the majestic grandeur its title evokes.
Bringing their trilogy to completion, Food Pyramid's latest cassette for Moon Glyph, "III" captures the trio at their most sweeping - inviting fourth and fifth members into the mix and adding an array of sensations to their palette of kosmische-inspired compositions. Having played out consistently for a year or so, "III" is a recorded portrait of the group performing at an invigorated level of adventurousness. Note the arpeggiated guitars on "Last Light" and "Last Shuttle to the Red Planet," "Cycloscope"'s synth-euphorics and the unbridled sax- and piano-playing in the album's final moments. On display is a duality that owes much to the group's improvisational core: this collection of tracks serves not only as a summation of the first two records, but also as a gaze into Food Pyramid's future.
"Entitled simply “II”, Food Pyramid’s second release for Moon Glyph might be viewed as an extenuation of their debut cassette, which the release both is and isn’t. Having introduced the listener to their long-form template and insistent beat, Food Pyramid find themselves in a place to experiment. Jettisoning any “live” touches from their sound this time around (i.e. the saxophone and guitar), “II” is a pure expression of the band’s electronic angle. Preserving the propulsion they established on their previous record, Food Pyramid commingles its strength for drawn-out melody lines with a more spirited handling of the repeater and delay dials.” —Moon Glyph
"Food Pyramid’s debut "I" is an operation of sublime dilation. Over an ostinato beat, the Minneapolis trio introduces motifs that expand, refine and clarify in the course of a song. Each composition is a practice of subtle initiation: the swells are foreshadowed by stray airs that repeat, a rarified saxophone dances around the jam’s heart, impressionist synth lines lead the listener deeper into the Food Pyramid experience, an album that is as cerebral as it is intuitive. Here, there are earphone moments and party moments and highway moments in a way that never panders. Taken as a whole, "I" is an insistently joyful and cohesive introduction to a band that would like to introduce the listener to an array of alluring concepts." —Moon Glyph