Brian Pyle's (1/2 of NorCal improv/experimental unit Starving Weirdos) Ensemble Economique project is like the polar opposite of SoCal's Sun Araw: while Cameron's music is the epitome of tropical bliss and relaxed meditative high on the beach, Ensemble Economique is like a bad trip somewhere in the tropics, like stumbling straight into a voodoo ceremony while being high as a kite: things may seem like a joke at first but it stops being funny very quickly and suddenly you're terrified and you want to run away. But you can't.
"Psychical", the newest record from EE, released on LA imprint Not Not Fun, offers eight unsettling ritualistic soundscapes reminiscent (both visually and musically) of old, cheesy horror movie. It's like remembering fragments from a movie where the guy is given a mysterious mixture and buried alive somewhere in Haiti, but you can't remember the name of the film or the actors. Heavy synth drones coexist with looped exotic drums, and occasional psychedelic guitar freakouts add yet more layers to the already tightly packed environment. To add to this, Pyle masterfully mixes weird vocal snippets into his music in "Red for the Sun", "Shacks Built from Plyboard" and "Real Things" - all of them in thick Jamaican/Haitian accents which add a sense of partaking in a mass of some forgotten illegal/cult - the real standout here is "Red for the Sun", in which the looped "preacher" keeps talking about sun, blood and (not surprisingly) marijuana.
Ensemble Economique's newest album is truly a headfuck, and not for the faint of the heart. It also points into an interesting direction - it's a fusion between Shackleton-like dub and psychedelic drone/synth scene. Although it is sold out at the source (NNF website), you can still buy it from Insound or Midheaven Mailorder.