Matt Papich is one talented dude; ask anyone who has ever seen him perform live or heard any of his work as founder – and, eventually, sole – member of Baltimore’s Ecstatic Sunshine. Originally conceived as an electronically-enhanced guitar duo, the project gave Papich and band-mate Dustin Wong chance to show off their chops whilst indulging some serious tech-geekery, weaving intricate patterns with their dueling six-strings and then using various pedals and samplers to process, loop and layer the threads into dense tapestries of lush, droning psychedelia. After Wong left in 2008 to focus his energies on main concern Ponytail, Papich tried out a couple of replacements before deciding to carry on alone, only to conclude soon after that his relationship with his instrument had reached the end of the road. Marking the change in direction with a change of name, he set about releasing limited run cassettes and making tracks available for free on his website as Co La, and official debut Daydream Repeater encapsulates Papich’s new approach perfectly: using little more than Ableton Live and the music from his own record collection, the (now ex-) guitarist has created a master-class in plunderphonic pop, splicing and looping fragments of well-known standards and obscure nuggets into hypnotic, rhythmic sound collages. Moving smoothly from Afro-jazz to Basic Channel-style minimal techno, onto grimy electro, stoned reggae and space age lounge music, Daydream Repeater is like an aural travelogue through lands both far and familiar; “Wanna Say Faux”, for example, takes the instantly recognizable Wall Of Sound drums from the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and warps them into something resembling Chicago footwork, whilst “My Jamaican” shuffles a Grace Jones sample into a stuttering disco/ dub hybrid. In many ways, the album occupies the same mind-bending territory as recent releases from fellow loop-lovers Panda Bear and The Field, but as well as being more playful it also – arguably – exhibits a better understanding of traditional pop dynamics, with most tracks building methodically to a satisfying climax. It would seem this young pup could teach the old dogs new tricks, and with Daydream Repeater proving he is as adept at programming and digital manipulation as he is with the guitar, Papich’s future looks very bright indeed.
Listen: “Vanity Plate” http://soundcloud.com/co_la/vanity-plate
Daydream Repeater is out now on NNA Tapes