|Dustin Wong — Mediation of Ecstatic Energy (2013)|
Dustin Wong — Mediation of Ecstatic Energy
An indie one-man band for sparsely accompanied guitar instrumentals.
Birth name: Dustin Clarence Hidetoshi Wong
Born: in Hawaii and grew up in Japan
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Album release: September 17, 2013
Record Label: Thrill Jockey
01. The Big She 5:06
02. Emerald Atmosphere 3:29
03. Imaginelectric 3:32
04. Aura Peeled Off 2:21
05. Out of the Crown Head 4:20
06. Liberal Christian Youth Ministry 4:30
07. Cityscape Floated 3:43
08. Speeding Feathers Staring 5:51
09. (A) shows (B) his analysis and (C) looked over 5:02
10. Physical Consciousness Went in 5:37
11. Japan 5:52
12. Helix Sky 4:31
13. Vision Waterfall 2:25
14. Tall Call Cold Sun 6:41
Ø Dustin Clarence Hidetoshi Wong is a Chinese/American guitarist formerly active in the art-rock band Ponytail and a former member of the experimental guitar duo, Ecstatic Sunshine (along with Matthew Papich).
Ø Limited deluxe LP edition includes a bonus 7 with an exclusive non-album track. The LP is pressed on high quality virgin vinyl and packaged in a full color jacket with artworked inner sleeve and a download coupon for all tracks. CD version packaged in a 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package.
By Josiah Hughes
Ø Looping guitar great and former Ponytail member Dustin Wong continues to impress with his solo output. After collaborating with Japanese singer Takako Minekawa earlier this year, Wong is back with another solo full-length.
Ø The new LP follows up his sophomore set Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads with a similarly mystical title (http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/16314-dreams-say-view-create-shadow-leads/). Ø It’s called Mediation of Ecstatic Energy, out via Thrill Jockey on September 17.
Ø The label writes: “Throughout the album, he uses syncopation, abnormal time signatures, and polyrhythm to create an overwhelming feeling of weightlessness, most notably on songs like ‘Out of the Crown Head’ and ‘Imaginelectric.’ There is also an increased bass presence, which is generated using his guitar and an octave pedal. These are the sounds of Dustin advancing his technique, pushing it as far as he can, from complex abstraction to blissful bursts of melody.”
Ø Some interesting info is also given concerning the album’s backstory, with Thrill Jockey writing, “Much of the album’s energy and all of the song titles are derived from a short story Dustin wrote, which is included in the album’s artwork. The story incorporates themes of youth, technology, and spirituality. It was partially inspired by Dustin’s experience growing up in a Christian school in Tokyo, which he attended from 3rd to 12th grade. It was here that Dustin was exposed to singing in rounds — a direct precursor to his dynamic loops. The theme of spirituality is directly reflected in the album’s artwork, which is a photo of Dustin’s aura taken in Japan.” (http://exclaim.ca/)
Artist Biography by Jason Lymangrover
Ø Infinite Love Hawaiian-born Dustin Wong of indie art rock groups Ponytail and Ecstatic Sunshine took the idea of going solo literally. A performer of instrumental guitar pieces, Wong performed his first show (in August of 2009) by his lonesome, aided only by a pedal board that he used to build a cacophony of textures through delay effects and loop units. His first release, the Seasons LP, followed the same format of unaccompanied guitar, and his second release, the cassette-only Let It Go for WTRCL, found him expanding his horizons with a touch of keyboard and drum machine. In autumn of 2010, Thrill Jockey released Infinite Love. Wong relocated to Japan and connected with Shibuya-kei artist Takako Minekawa after playing some shows in 2011. The pair collaborated on 2013's Toropical Circle, which blended Wong's experimental tendencies with Minekawa's deceptively playful melodies.
√ Seasons, LP (Wildfire Wildfire, Jun 2009)
√ Let it Go, cassette, (WTRCLR, Apr 2010)
√ Infinite Love (Thrill Jockey, Oct 2010)
√ Split 12" w/ Gentle Friendly (Palmist Records, Nov 2011)
√ Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads (Thrill Jockey, Feb 2012)
Records released with Ecstatic Sunshine:
√ New Kind of Imagination, 2004
√ Freckle Wars, 2006, Carpark Records
√ Way, May 14, 2008, Cardboard Records, Grayson Currin
√ Living, 2007, Non EMI
Records released with Takako Minekawa:
√ Toropical Circle, 2013, (Thrill Jockey)
Ø From the opening notes of Mediation of Ecstatic Energy, it is clear that Dustin Wong has bested even himself in expanding the capacity of what can be done with a few pedals and a guitar. The album is the conclusion of a trilogy that began with 2010’s Infinite Love and continued with last year’s Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads, each record created by Dustin in solitude with ten fingers, two feet, and his endless imagination. Mediation shows Dustin complicating his already complex arrangements for guitar, voice, and loops, expanding not only his timbral palate, but also exploring new rhythmic intricacies. This is his first record since moving back to Japan (where he spent his childhood), and follows Toropical Circle, a collaborative release with Japanese singer Takako Minekawa, which was released on vinyl on Thrill Jockey in July.
Ø Dustin is constantly exploring new conceptual frameworks and methods of music making. “The Big She” opens Mediation of Ecstatic Energy with the most aggressive atmosphere Dustin has cultivated on a solo release. Explosive and unpredictable, the song features a constantly morphing loop-pulse that allows Dustin to clang and wail from above. Throughout the album, he uses syncopation, abnormal time signatures, and polyrhythm to create an overwhelming feeling of weightlessness, most notably on songs like “Out of the Crown Head” and “Imaginelectric.” There is also an increased bass presence, which is generated using his guitar and an octave pedal. These are the sounds of Dustin advancing his technique, pushing it as far as he can, from complex abstraction to blissful bursts of melody.
Ø Much of the album’s energy and all of the song titles are derived from a short story Dustin wrote, which is included in the album’s artwork. The story incorporates themes of youth, technology, and spirituality. It was partially inspired by Dustin’s experience growing up in a Christian school in Tokyo, which he attended from 3rd to 12th grade. Ø It was here that Dustin was exposed to singing in rounds — a direct precursor to his dynamic loops. The theme of spirituality is directly reflected in the album’s artwork, which is a photo of Dustin’s aura taken in Japan.
Ø Dustin will be touring the US extensively, including a run of dates with The Dodos, in the fall. He will be joined by Takako Minekawa on select dates, and possibly other collaborators as well. ________________________________________________________________
Ø ダスティン・ウォングはハワイで生を受け、２歳の時に日本へと移住。中高時代はパンクやオルタナに開眼し、ハイティーンの頃 には友人のユタカ・ヒューレット、Delaware というバンド／デザイナーとして活躍していた”点”、そして立花ハジメと ow Powers のメンバーでもあったエリと、携帯電話の着信音をオケに使用し歌うというユニークなバンド、 The Japanese を結成し活動、また、ユタカとは Onsen というギター・デュオも組んでいた。
そして大学進学のため渡米、ボルティモアに渡った後、マット・パピッチとエクスタティック・サンシャインの活動を始める。同 時に彼は通っていた美術大学のクラスメート達と共にポニーテイルを結成。ボアダムスやアニマル・コレクティヴとも比較されたカオティックなサウンドと怒濤 のライヴ・パフォーマンスは瞬く間に話題となる。また、エクスタティック・サンシャインとしてもカーパークからデビュー・アルバムをリリース。ミニマルで 実験的なサウンドは多方面から高評価を得るもののダスティンは脱退する。ポニーテイルもさらなるブレイクを期待されていたが突然活動休止を発表 （2011/9/22 に正式に解散を発表）。そして 2010 年、スリル・ジョッキーと契約し、3rd・ ソロ・アルバム 『Infinite Love』 をリリースした。
Ø 2012 年通産 4 作目となるソロ・アルバム 『Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads』 をリリースし、4月にはレコード発売記念の日本ツアーも慣行。NHK ライブビートへの出演も果たす。その後マウンテン・ゴーツとのツアーを経 て、7月にブルックリンで行われたダーティー・プロジェクターズの最新作 『Swing Lo Magellan』 のリリース記念ライヴのオープニングに抜擢され、日本ツアーでも全公演オープニングを務めた。9 月から 10 月前半にかけてビーチ・ハウ スとの US ツアーを行った後、朝霧 JAM 2012 にも出演を果たし、そして 2013 年 1 月のビーチ・ハウス・ジャパン・ツアーのオープニングもつとめた。5 月には嶺川貴子との共作『 Toropical Circle』をリリースし、 FUJI ROCK ’13 への出演も決定。ニュー・アルバム 『Mediation of Ecstatic Energy』 を 8/14 に日本先行でリリースすることが予定されている。
See also: http://www.dustinwongphotos.com/
|Dustin Wong — Mediation of Ecstatic Energy (2013)|