CBR 009: CD
"Ecstatic Sunshine...is one of the best introductions to oddball music you could hope for...guitar melodies--guitar riffs even--arc above ambient sounds and substrata rhythms, built from an effects rack rather than a laptop...and the sun reappears from the sludge in distinctly pretty guitar lines that twist and swirl into a gorgeous finish." -Baltimore City Paper
Way, the second full length by Ecstatic Sunshine, is a record of skewed minimalism and true, uplifting positivity. Recorded in the summer and fall of 2007, between trips and tours, Way is Ecstatic stretching to a point fully beyond expectations. The riffs that Ecstatic explored in the past are deconstructed and reconsidered, effected and processed into melodic noise and chiming rhythm. Way documents the most recent incarnation of this hyper drone trio, aptly described as "Full Positive Eno World + Pure Trust Branca Cloud."
Ecstatic Sunshine began as a way for founding members Matthew Papich and Dustin Wong to interweave 60's minimalism with 80's punk. Formed in Baltimore in the spring of 2005 (just before the avalanche of press began sweating the art damaged scene that was thriving around them), the two guitarists combined seemingly incompatible ideas tightly to make a new, unrecognizable force. Ecstatic began touring extensively as a treble heavy, ear splitting symmetrical thrash band. In that summer, they recorded their acclaimed debut for Carpark Records, Freckle Wars, a 30 minute album full of purist, whimsical bursts.
Since then, Ecstatic has been on a quickly changing trajectory, leaving audiences equally confused and enthralled. In the summer of 2007 they released Living, a vinyl only EP on Papich's own Wildfire Wildfire imprint. The EP documents Ecstatic's transition away from their brief and snappy roots towards a more noisy and blissful take on the tonal walls of Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham. Living quickly sold out of its limited pressing of 500 copies and has become a gem to fans of the band. 2007 also brought the addition of Kieran Gillen (electronics) and a changing sound that relies more heavily on the repetition of Terry Riley or early Steve Reich. Despite such academic influences, their live performance has been noted for its swirling energy and overwhelming volume and tone -- Ecstatic Sunshine is still a punk band at heart.
Ecstatic Sunshine is Dustin Wong, Matthew Papich, Kieran Gillen