ECTOGRAM – EXO-CELESTIAL
Limited edition numbered vinyl LP (with CD)
released 21st December 2012
For Ectogram’s seventh album, the group proposed a set of rules. Their previous two releases had both been recorded live in the studio with minimum overdubs, one largely improvised and later edited into songs, the other pretty much pre-arranged and rehearsed songs captured faithfully as performed live. It seemed time for a different approach.
The group had plenty of songs that they had been playing live for the past couple of years, varying in length between five and fifteen minutes and featuring their familiar barrage of abrasive guitar textures but…
What if the album was to be a standard length ‘pop’ LP containing twelve three minute songs?
What if no electric guitars were to be used on the album?
What if the group were to all record their parts separately with little or no live interaction?
Ectogram began work on the record with these three premises in mind, Maeyc laying down drum tracks at his home studio and passing them on to the others to add whatever instrumentation they saw fit. After passing the recordings back and forth between the three of them over many months, Exo-Celestial was born.
Of course, with the group not being naturally amenable to observing rules, some electric guitar did sneak its way onto the record (although very little) and some songs ended up longer than three minutes (though only a bit), but generally the record sounds quite different to previous ectoreleases and the group even managed to squeeze thirteen songs into the 45 minutes playing time! Drums and vocals provide a familiar framework for the songs, but the space between is awash with the exotic colours of non-rock instrumentation – clarinets, glockenspiels, recorders, mandolins, mellotrons, analogue electronics and even pan-pipes! Everything is propelled by Maeyc’s drums, bass and sine wave groove as Ann’Äôs melodiously layered vocal curlicues soar and swoop above and through the sonorous cocktail. Exo-Celestial is Ectogram’s pop record, although a pop record more in the tradition of The Art Bears, Roxy Music and Stereolab than One Direction, Olly Murs or JLS.
Exo-Celestial is released as a limited edition vinyl LP on the day the World ends, December 21st 2012 and will be the perfect last record you ever listen to. The record is available in two subtly different versions on both Turquoise Coal (TURQUOAL 002) andPure Pop For Now People (PURE 12). Although the record itself is identical in both issues, the sleeves are slightly different, making it essential for hardcore Ectogram completists to obtain both! Each label has released 100 individually numbered copies, which are available from Turquoise Coal or www.ppfnp.com