Ensemble Economique feels like something lurking just beneath the surface, at the edge of the horizon; some terrible, nameless danger or monster or curse. Helmed by Starving Weirdos’ Brian Pyle, the solo project crosses thriller-cinema landscapes with lurching found sounds — and while that particular combo sounds trite in the text, trust me: Ensemble Economique is anything but. These are post-apocalyptic suburban wasteland jams. These are next next level.
Take the nervous strings, the undulating hum and jitter, of “Heat Waves”. Or the constricted bells on “Vanishing Point”. Or anything, really, from Pyle’s latest Crossing The Pass, By Torchlight — it’s all a mess of tension, the teeth-grinding build to a release that only sometimes arrives. And while the album for sure relies on the cultural association of retro psych-thrillers with FM synthesis and a certain sort of brassy bass, there’s something legitimately trepidatious about the way each song moves. Like even Pyle himself doesn’t know how this story ends — only that it ends badly.