California-based experimental musician Brian Pyle (also of Starving Weirdos and RV Paintings) uses the name Ensemble Economique for his solo ventures, which range from dark, shamanic drone to mystical, echo-heavy psych rock to shadow-dwelling goth/darkwave. He initiated the project with At the Foot of Nameless Roads, an album of clattering, occasionally noisy soundscapes, on the Digitalis label in 2008. The label also released No GPS, a limited companion CD-R containing the project's earliest recordings. Two years later, two very different LPs bearing the name Ensemble Economique were released: the expansive, cinematic Standing Still, Facing Forward (Amish Records) and the intense, tribal psychedelia of Psychical (Not Not Fun). 2011's Crossing the Pass, By Torchlight (Dekorder) added chilling horror-soundtrack synth textures and shuddering electronic beats, resulting in the project's most direct, cohesive work to date. The year also saw the release of an eerie, jarring cassette called The Vastness Is Bearable Only Through Love on Agents of Chaos.
Many of Ensemble Economique's 2011-2012 releases were limited live recordings (including the Live in London tape on Not Not Fun) or split releases (a tape with Dubai on Clan Destine Records; the Motion Forever LP with Lee Noble on Hands in the Dark). The split releases in particular marked the project's shift toward creeping, atmospheric post-punk/shoegaze with sheets of heavily treated guitar and ethereal vocals. Pyle expanded on this sound with the excellent Fever Logic (Not Not Fun, 2013), which quickly became the project's most acclaimed work. 2013 also saw the release of a limited picture disc titled (no thing-ness) on Dekoder, a split LP with doom-surf group Heroin in Tahiti on NO=FI Recordings/Sound of Cobra, and Shelter Press' vinyl issue of The Vastness Is Bearable Only Through Love. EE also signed to Denovali Records in 2013, concluding the year with two abstract, collage-like LPs, Interval Signals and Light That Comes, Light That Goes. 2014 album Melt Into Nothing was a return to the darkwave sound of Fever Logic, and 2015's Blossoms in Red (which featured guest appearances by Soft Metals and Peter Broderick) continued in this direction. ~ Paul Simpson