I by no means was listening to music within the years that the true psychedelic rock movement took place, unless one is willing to consider Ace of Base psychedelic rock–or even rock at all (pssst they’re not!). Hell, what even is Psychedelic Rock? “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”? The band Cream?
Dustin Wong, of obscure Ponytail fame, creates this instrumental album, deeply layered in guitar loops and a minimalism that brings very small sounds into very big sounds and builds, note by note, a mountain of psychedelia. On Mediation of Ecstatic Energy tracks go from catchy to abrasive then lull into a relaxing mantra before dropping into a drug-induced racing riff in the next song. This is where the strength of Wong’s skills as a song writer come in; he puts an entire human psyche inside each track, knowing that nothing is seen from one side forever.
“Aura Peeled Off” is an onion being built (or peeled off) one track at a time. It starts with muted strumming and leads into a shiny brights mountain exploding with shiny synesthetic colors. Every song has a journey from one sound, repeating bright melodies, to another the invading layers, and always coming out as something much more complex by the end of the song.
“(A) shows (B) his analysis and (C) looked over” brings to mind data feed into a 1950s refrigerator computer, punching holes in punch cards and analyzing with arbitrary computer sounds (*bleepbloop*) and growing warmer from over exhaustion into some ascendent technology heaven to calculated for one song.
“Liberal Christian Youth Ministry” is edged with static and guitar distortion with sensitive plucking coming through the noise, until it pushes the rough into a glitter, and turning into a sunny day.
Mediation of Ecstatic Energy does what any good video game, movie, or art piece does, it creates a sense that there’s a trip to be had, and you’re going to pick-up a bunch of characters–traits, people, skills– on the way, then by the end, a vast swath of a singular person’s little universe will have been conquered. It’s Experimental in a true sense of the word, and psychedelic not in the sense that one is hallucinating, but in the purest more sober form a mind can be altered. It doesn’t rely on a human voice, drums, or even a chorus, but lets the listener decide how the mind changes.