Live at Les Yper Yper Gallery
Ensemble Economique is Brian Pyle of Starving Weirdos and RV Paintings. His solo project (hence the slightly ironic moniker), which could be probably briefly classified as ambient / drone / psychedelic / shoegaze, has released various albums, splits and EPs on labels such as Digitalis, Amish, Not Not Fun, Dekorder and Clan Destine so far, before joining forces with Denovali Records in 2012. His new full length Light That Comes, Light That Goes constitutes Ensemble Economique’s first release on Denovali, and is accompanied by another release, Interval Signals, which is a concept record consisting of a single coherent 40 minute long piece, interrupted only by the necessity to flip the vinyl record.
Brian lives in Humboldt county, a very isolated part of northern California which is probably one of the only places left in California where you can live on the beach and pay $500 per month rent, where both poor and rich can enjoy the profound beauty of this nature in equal measure. An epic coastline, the redwoods, seven different rivers, these surroundings have a profound impact on Ensemble Economiques’s music, and Pyle is quite aware of this: “The nature here is pure drama. There’s so much space to move around here, get lost in. So many places to take long walks to nowhere, alone, just you and your thoughts, and some gorgeous scenery. It’s liberating, inspiring. I can see how it fucks up musicians in cities, being around so many other musicians and so many other ideas. I think it makes artists a little bit more self-conscious which maybe isn’t the best thing when you’re trying just to be free.”
Exploiting the freedom of isolation, Brian utilizes found sounds, field recordings, and musical performance that he later meticulously edits, layers, and loops in the studio. The effects of these processes are dramatic, cinematic and conceptually rigorous and this recording evidences Pyle as an important new composer emerging out of the long and storied tradition of West Coast experimentalism. Pyle’s practice involves a dense approach to composition akin to assemblage, but unlike electronic and laptop composition, Pyle’s studio work aims to re-establish an organicism associated with live (or, in the case of the field recordings, lived) performance that pushes the studio out into nature and nature into the studio. The result is a seamless, cinematic tapestry of beauty, filled to the brim with cacophonous melodies, meditative auditory chants, & hypnotic shambolic rhythms. This is dense music that begs for deeper inspection. Each space, each note carefully chosen and etched into glass. Ensemble Economqiue is music for the darkest nights, the pinkest mornings, and everything in between. This is vivid, haunting music that leaves a trail of gold in its wake.
Indeed, the pieces comprising Light That Comes, Light That Goes are episodic in nature, a narrative arc, travelling from dark to light. They are loosely inspired by Brian’s long walks along the ocean and the thoughts he would have. Each piece captures a mood, a feeling, a singular moment out there on the beach, on his long aimless walks to nowhere, the horizon stretching for infinity.
The concept single-piece record Interval Signals is based on radio signature tunes or interval signals, which serve as a bridge between the three movements that comprise the piece. Interval Signals are compelling, they are filled with this enigmatic mystery, this otherworldliness, a glimpse into a faraway culture, it’s life, it’s rhythm, it’s aesthetic. In a practical sense these jingles start and end most of the world’s day, an integral background signifier of life and it’s cyclical nature. Indeed, Ensemble Economique’s music between these interval signals serves as the drama of life as it happens.