♫♪  Ensemble Economique - “Make-Out in the GDR”

Despite coming from sunny California, former Starving Weirdos leader Brian Pyle, now gone solo under the moniker Ensemble Economique, manages to create some of the most sunless, melancholic music in the psychedelic underground. On his most recent albums, he eschews dubby, hazy ambiance for a bleaker, more anemic sound, clearly influenced both by shoegaze and dark ambient. On his upcoming release via Denovali Records ominously entitled Melt Into Nothing (due this month), he explores the shoegazey territory through “Make-Out in the GDR,” the acronym standing for German Democratic Republic, the communist, totalitarian half of Germany, which was divided between the superpowers after WWII. Together with the stark, black and white artwork of the album, the song creates a feeling of depression and resignation, something that many citizens felt under the rule of the communist regime. The harsh, processed guitar plays a tortured, droning notes over a slightly tribal, cavernous rhythms and a life-draining melody devoid of any hope. “Make Out in the GDR” skillfully channels the feelings of paranoia and danger felt by many common people in that system, as famously exemplified in Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s film The Lives of Others, depicting the work of the East German Stasi secret police. Downer drone master strikes again.

• Ensemble Economique: http://ensembleeconomique.tumblr.com
• Denovali Records: http://denovali.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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