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Ecstatic Sunshine

Way

(Cardboard; US: 8 Apr 2008; UK: Available as import)

Ecstatic Sunshine’s latest EP, Way, finds the group expanded significantly from the dueling guitars of their debut Freckle Wars. Not only musically: the duo’s added Kieran Gillen on various electronics, and retooled the sound to encompass a more ambitious sonic palette. The three tracks on Way are also expansive in length, ranging from seven to twelve minutes each. Almost as if taking their old sound as a starting-off point, “B” opens with guitars playing in unison, but gamelan-style, the sound gradually bends apart, splintering from the edges. The track becomes a resonant, bell-and-effects-laden composition in the style of Steve Reich and Terry Riley, still obvious heroes of the group. The bell sounds return in “Perrier” in another fractured, fractal-like pattern; though these three tracks are quite distinct, the group has a strong sonic ‘voice’. These refreshing, calm experiments from Ecstatic Sunshine are, again, rewarding if you have the patience to allow them in.

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Dan Raper has been writing about music for PopMatters since 2005. Prior to that he did the same thing for his college newspaper and for his school newspaper before that. Of course he also writes fiction, though his only published work is entitled "Gamma-secretase exists on the plasma membrane as an intact complex that accepts substrates and effects intramembrane cleavage". He is currently studying medicine at the University of Sydney, Australia.


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26 Oct 2006
Frantic and riff-packed instrumental guitar album with ideas and challenges for the adventurous listener.
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