Based in Californian Humboldt County, Brian Pyle is Ensemble Economique. On his by now eleventh album and fourth Denovali release "Blossoms In Red", Pyle combines and perfects elements of his previous output into a cohesive narrative. The opener ""From The Train Window, Red Flowers On The Mountain"" is a surprisingly scarce ambient piece, which feels like an almost infinitely stretched precious moment of time. Despite being austere, it is warm, sublime and incredibly captivating and after listening to its full 8 minutes, one cannot help but to rewind and replay. Having barely escaped this seductively infinite loop, one encounters the title track "Blossoms In Red" featuring Portland electronic duo Soft Metals. Starting off with a characteristic sluggish programmed beat, one is immediately overpowered by the onset of the towering combination of a warm bassline and a shimmering synth ambience. As the track flows, these elements writhe around each other in a delicately beautiful fashion, absorbing the materialising wailing guitar which almost sounds like an ethereal voice, as well as the occasional melodic and rhythmic accents. The next track sees this guitar return in a rather pure form. ""On The Sand"", featuring jack-of-all-trades Peter Broderick, is essentially just reduced analogue drums, electric guitar, a simple vibrating bassline and hoarse almost spoken vocals. Slowly and methodically, these constituents form a captivating erotic ritual, much like a beguiling and hypnotic mandala procession of imperturbable blissful individuals on the beach. As proven on numerous occasions, Pyle can easily lead all his trumps in the presence of female lead vocals, and "Blossoms In Red" makes no exception. Indeed, "You, By Candlelight" is easily the best Ensemble Economique track with female vox to date. Pyle manages to embed the vocals just in the right minimal amount of instrumental layers, making the track radiate an elusive tranquility. The fifth and closing track "Nothing Is Perfect" is a classically tinged piano piece with only very little processing and sparse field recording samples. Ensemble Economique's most minimalistic album, but at the same time - or maybe just for this reason - his most skilled work.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Ensemble Economique's Brian Pyle once again expands his already venerable sound palette on his latest release for ambient/synth/post-rock titans Denovali. Near-gothic sounding drums hammer over echoing guitar and cavernous reverb, backed up on the third track by Multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick's hoarsely whispered vocals. This is a haunting and stunning addition to the label's ever expanding domination over the ambient field.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP Info: 180 gram vinyl.
Includes MP3 Download Code.