Ensemble Economique has emerged as an unusually globe-trotting creative valve for Arcata, CA, beachcomber Brian Pyle. The last year alone has seen him backpacking through Scandinavia, Europe and Russia—twice. Maybe his spirit’s too absorbent, ’cause he’s brought back some deeply heavier moods and ancient world weariness since his last outing on Not Not Fun, 2010’s demonic tribal monsoon Psychical.
Recent splits with similarly instinctual psychedelic unclassifiables like Lee Noble and Heroin in Tahiti have hinted at his bracing off-roader headspace, but he bares all on Fever Logic, six songs smeared across 40 minutes. Pyle positions each composition as a slow-motion funereal landslide; grey clay electronics losing form, echoes of processed guitar, depressive synth mist, all drizzling down over his wailing prisoner’s prayer vocals. A few flirt with slightly more overt goth-gaze signifiers (“Walking into the Light,” “We Come Spinning Out of Control”), but the rest run closer to some kind of miasmic electronic abstraction mode, merging submerged mumbling and isolationist field recordings with intensely personal melodies and spacious cathedrals of ritual guitar. As with so many of Pyle’s past steps, it’s all-consuming and all out on its own (the only guest appearance is his brother, Jon, echo-plexing some occult percussion to the opening track).