I started a lil music blog over on my website. It’s called Secret Stacks. Check it out for weekly pics from WNUR’s infinite soundvault.
Today, Dustin Wong’s Mediation of Ecstatic Energy. Wong, formerly active in Baltimore art-rock cabal Ponytail and math-guitar experiment Ecstatic Sunshine, is known for creating complex audio landscapes with his trusty Boss RC-2 Loop Station. Yes, Wong is a Looper. Like so many artists I love. But, lest you think use of a loop pedal alone is enough to get me on the proverbial bandwagon, you have to hear and understand the particular kind of looping that Wong does Listening to this track, you might notice how much texture Wong creates while still crafting four minutes and 30 seconds of definite song. Tracks like “Liberal Christian Youth Ministry” are riddled with little polyrhythmic notes and phrases that build momentum over several “turns” of the loop. By the end of the track, an ambient soundscape has scraped up enough momentum to sort of gallup along. But don’t let me tell you. You can pick up Mediation of Ecstatic Energy on Thrill Jockey Records. Wong is also on tour now, so catch him if you can. KEY TRACKS/OTHER NOTES: * This album is all instrumental, and like many of the instrumental greats (ha) before him, Wong knows how to keep things interesting, driving and too complex for me to listen to while doing homework. That said, I know some people really dig studying to instrumental tunes. If that’s you, get on this. * The three-track flow of “Out of the Crown Head”, “Liberal Christian Youth Ministry” and “Cityscape Floated” is a real winner. Probably my favorite chunk of the album. * Other favorites include “Speeding Feathers Staring”, “Helix Sky” and “Vision Waterfall” * On that note, The mathrock song titles are strong with this one.
Here are my grossly belated favorite albums of 2013, excluding the biggies, because everyone already knows how great they are. Maybe you already know all of these too, and also think they are the best, and if that is the case I hope this will just confirm your biases and make you feel good.