Dustin Wong – Mediation of Ecstatic Energy

Thrill Jockey

Proving he’s a man who finishes what he’s started Dustin Wong has returned with Mediation of Ecstatic Energy the conclusion to a trilogy that he began some three years back. And as you’d expect from a sister album to 2010’s Infinite Love and last year’s Dreams Say View Create Shadow Leads it’s another sprawling exercise in looping pedal-shaped guitar theatrics though sadly not Wong’s finest moment.

At a hefty one-hour runtime Mediation of Ecstatic Energy is most definitely ambitious with Wong weaving cyclical compositions of riff-peeling guitar licks as he layers and textures a multitude of guitar lines some machine-triggered drums and the occasional bit of indecipherable vocals. But like some self-centred director’s cut Wong’s work could use a good stern edit as the tracks — which are murky and light on melodic payoff — stick to a frustratingly rigid template that leads to a feeling of repetition rather than cohesion.

And therein lies the central problem of this album: Wong sticks so firmly to his comfort zone that it never surprises wows or kicks you out of your loop-generated stupor. Instead you simply have a very typical Dustin Wong album and one that’s in desperate need of taking a chance or two