[17 April 2008]
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.