Ecstatic Peace

Matt Krefting interview

Before I ever met Matt Krefting, I found him to be an intriguing dude, especially his choice in haircuts. One trip down to Brooklyn, he’d be sportin’ some sorta butcher baby bowl cut that would make Moe Howard cringe and the next week I’d take a trip up to Northern Massachusetts to see him at some such gathering or another donning a quaff that would make Paul Mitchell shriek in purple envy. ‘Hmm…what makes this dudes’ sheers tick?’ I pondered from across the room while others weaved to and fro from the man. After that, I got to know him as a member of the barely there drone trio Son of Earth as well as the bass player for the shambling and defunct Glam Rock unit, The Believers. When I finally got to talk to the guy, I found him to be more than a haircut. He’s a genuinely swell cat with a sharp musical knowledge and a ferocious appetite for whiskey and wine.

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by TONY RETTMAN on 6/16/2009 in Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Mouthus – Divisionals (Ecstatic Peace)

Mouthus came out on more of the bash and pound side of the noise equation, although always showing allegiance to the Double Leopards axis of vague hippie tendencies. Mouthus played loud and hard yet they weren’t as negative as say, Air Conditioning. Since then the band has maintained a steady stream of increasingly psychedelic albums. Divisionals is an all synth album, a far cry the loud free-style drums and guitar workouts of their earlier days. Outside of the band’s established context they manage to coax out a clearly defined aesthetic of consistency. The general recording has a lo-fi industrial tone and in some ways recalls Psychic TV’s, Themes 2, which is unexpected but works in their favor. As usual, Nate Nelson’s rhythmic sense has a language all its own, which is highlighted on this recording due to minimal arrangements and lulling looping refrains. It’s unclear exactly who is doing what here, given the instrumentation but on this album Mouthus really stake a claim for themselves in the drone cannon. With the popularity of the genre many acts have thrown their dull, half-assed, redundant attempts into the stream with only a few records worth keeping. Mouthus came out of left field and created a record that is genuinely hypnotic. The textures and rhythms constantly change in a dim dream machine Burroughs style trance. Even so, the effect isn’t overwhelming to sacrifice listen-ability. The record maintains its approach throughout and keeps coming back to my turntable no matter how many times I try to put it back on my shelf. Essential listening!

by STEVE LOWENTHAL on 3/18/2009 in Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Okkyung Lee – I Saw the Ghost of an Unknown Soul and it Said (Ecstatic Peace)

Ecstatic Peace has been an increasingly prolific label in the last few years who’s releases can be staggeringly diverse; The Rita is putting out harsh “wall noise” cassettes while MV/EE do their Neil Young thing on the cds. Teen pop punks and Emil fucking Bealiue all on the same imprint. Its pretty safe to say there’s no Ecstatic Peace sound.  This means always leaving room for something out of left field for someone to pick up on. I remember the Stockhausen LP from the 90s on EP blew my head off in a potently specific way. The same feeling is creeping up on me with extended listens to cellist Okkyung Lee’s new LP for the label, I Saw the Ghost of an Unknown Soul and it Said. Best known for her work on the Tzadik label, Lee exhibits a grace and technique with her instrument that albeit a-melodic at times, has the feeling of chamber music in its delicate quiet moments. When Lee is more directly upfront in volume in her compositions she shows a powerful assured tone that given the bass heavy sound of the instrument produces some brisk reverberations. Over the course of this LP Lee creates a voice of her own all with an acoustic non-treated cello displaying a concentrated freedom as a soloist. Cheers as well to Tim Barnes for the crisp, rich recording.

by STEVE LOWENTHAL on 7/14/2008 in Reviews | Tags: , , , ,