Brian Pyle, the individual behind Ensemble Economique, begun a crazy trip as a member of Starving Weirdos in the mid '00s. This insane musical duo, featuring Pyle alongside Merrick McKinlay, traversed the paths of rock and electronic music, applying deranged psychedelia, resulting in the impossibility of pigeonholing their musical endeavors. After the group disbanded, Pyle was left unsatisfied with the conclusion of the trip, deciding to further explore the otherworldly sonic landscapes that he had discovered earlier.
His vessel in that journey is Ensemble Economique, under which moniker he has released a number of records, the highlight of which is arguably Melt Into Nothing. With this record, and its follow-up, Blossoms In Red, Pyle's concepts begun to open, become more accessible, the abstract world acquiring substance, the dark tones transformed to melancholic notions, and the structures making an attempt to follow the norm. As enticing as that trip felt, In Silhouette, takes a step back, revisiting the more elusive times of Pyle's visions. It is a record of cinematic grandeur, a glorification of the magic of ambient settings. Using a sonic collage technique, Pyle composes having in mind the atmosphere and the tone. This is not necessarily new for the artist, an adept crafter of sound design and its capabilities, but it is the balance he achieves here that is mesmerizing, standing firmly between the ethereal and the haunting.
The sound design provides a degree of realism, but that is not to say that the record does not operate in the psychedelic domain, as most of Pyle's work does. Drones are implemented, sweeping the soundscapes, introducing the settings to be enacted, while electronic injections are resuscitating the foundations of the music. In reorganizing the tempo of the tracks, cutting the beats to different places, causing the music to move into disorienting spaces, the artist is flirting with psychedelia and movements outside the standard type of electronic music. Effects cause the journey to spiral down into a feverish dream state, as delayed vocals reconfigure the form of delivery, and tribalistic tendencies make an appearance in the percussive domain.
Yet, through this dark trip there are these moments of optimism, or at least its illusion. As the sharp notes of “I Can See The Light, The Edge of Forever” are introduced a change occurs to the mood of the record, and to the mindset of the listener. Pyle allows that illusion to hold, even through the final track, “You In The Horizon,” lifting the record, and in the process revealing the multiple faces of his identity.
8.0 / 10
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