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Ecstasy Mule

Ecstasy Mule Contemplates Hunting and Drinking When the Rainbow is Enuf

Ecstasy Mule: Ecstasy Mule Contemplates Hunting and Drinking When the Rainbow is Enuf (Batterrie)

Ecstasy Mule's demented improv blues in a maxi-single presenting 3 version of "Missouri Couple seeks Law Against Hunting + Drinking" from 3 NYC performances.

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Len 37-acoustic and electric guitars, bouzouki, Korg PSS-50 + electronic effects

Casey G-acoustic and electric guitars, bouzouki, Korg PSS-50 + electronic effects

Reid Gray-voice

Motoko Shimizu-voice

Kristen Persinos-voice

Mikey IQ Jones-percussion

Phil Zampino-vocal program

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Label: Batterrie
Catalog ID: 04
Squidco Product Code: 9965

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2008
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardstock Sleeve

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

Ecstasy Mule's latest 'maxi-single' presents in three parts "Missouri Couple seeks Law Against Hunting + Drinking", a piece performed live in distinct ways three times in New York City. Each features a different narrator or text interpreter &emdash; Reid Gray, Motoko Shimizu, and Kristen Persinos &emdash; and each uses a variety of acoustic and electric guitars, bouzouki, keyboards and effects to create a yowling and clattering complement to the stories being told. Ecstasy Mule has clearly been listening to the modern e-a improv world, twisting it in the ways that Chris Forsyth, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, or Volcano the Bear might, choosing from a broad palette of approaches and sound sources to create an active, growling and constantly shifting environment.

The 'Mule's Len 37 & Casey G are free improvisors at heart, swaying closer to the rock idiom, but borrowing from many modern ideas of improvisation of interest to fans of Fred Frith, No Neck, Sun City Girls &c.. The three tracks of this release were each recorded at different venues around New York City. Each presents in narrative style news articles of gun accidents, taken from a collection of note cards kicking around the sidewalk of Dykman Ave in Northern Manhattan, presumably used to prepare someone in favor of gun control. This becomes the guide for the piece, each brief article read in a flatter and more observational way than conventional news-casting. The music is free-form and blues based, influenced as much from downtown NY as psychedelic blues forms.

To distinguish between the three recordings: "Grand St." is a thick mix of acoustic and electric guitar, often heavily effected, countered with ringing tones and percussive sounds, while Reid Gray's acerbic implications give the piece the clearest of the three narratives; "Dean St." is the fuzziest and perhaps most unique, the 'Mule in a dark mood of droning distortions and aggressive barrages of percussion provided by Mikey IQ Jones of Brown Wing Overdrive, while Motoko Shimizu invokes an alien distance to the articles with blackly humorous implications; "207 St." is the more intricate and best recorded, from their own back yard at 207 St. Gallery in Inwood (upper Manhattan), creating rhythmic tornados of sound like the howl on a forsaken plateau, Kristen Persinos providing the most passionate reading of the three.

"Hunting + Drinking (Add Bonus Beats Mix)" is a musique concrète piece taken from field recordings of various Ecstasy Mule performances, and a spoken word piece constructed for dj disturbed of Squidco Radio. That piece uses multiple computer voices reading the comments of a poster in two upper Manhattan online forums, who objected to the "207 St" performance for both the artsiness of the music and his perception that Ecstasy Mule was taking a stance for gun prohibition. This latter provides a good observation about the perspective of the piece and its potential interpretation, as the "Missouri Couple..." narrative simply replicates the sentiment of an anonymous opinion without casting judgement — the reading is either flat, taken out of cultural context, or oddly sardonic and non-committal. As the title of the piece explains, this is Ecstasy Mule contemplating the issue in light of the fack that "the rainbow is enuf." It's good to see that words can still incite, even if they are cast off and found on the ground.

I leave the brief final piece of the album to the listener as an appropriate ending to a very articulate and twisted collection of live performances and its exuded studio composition. With a glass of absinthe, this mule is just right!

This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

Artist Biographies

phil zampino, born in 1961 in Westpoint, NY, is the son of clarinetist Gerald Zampino, and was raised with shards of music stimulating his ears from his initial memories. A mixture of music, mathematics, computers, and a love of collecting unusual recordings led to the ineludible formation of CHANGES TO blind. Those same foundations led him to forming this very same Squidco, the online music store and distributorship focused on improvisation and experimental sound. Having no longer a concept of right or wrong in "music", he follows his eccentric ear to wherever sounds leads him.

-Squidco (

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Track Listing:

1. Missouri Couple seeks Law Against Hunting + Drinking: Grand St. 10:13

2. Missouri Couple seeks Law Against Hunting + Drinking: : Dean St. 10:58

3. Missouri Couple seeks Law Against Hunting + Drinking: 207 St. 7:45

4. Hunting + Drinking (Add Bonus Beats Mix) 9:34

5. Law 0:06

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Improvised Rock
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Spoken Word
Free Improvisation
Septet recordings

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