BTV051 Ester Drang : Pleasure Themes and Get Rich Schemes
“Pleasure Themes and Get Rich Schemes” (btv051)
|Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Ester Drang released their ground-breaking Goldenwest album on Burnt Toast Vinyl in 2001. Soon after those sessions, they went into the studio and recorded “All the Feeling” with Trent Bell (Flaming Lips) for a multi-media compilation that never came to fruition.
This recording features Flaming Lips’ drummer/multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd on several parts. The project then morphed into a one-sided LP with three additional tracks mixed and completed after their sophomore full-length Infinite Keys was released on Jade Tree in 2003. Aside from an out of print, self-released split 7”, Pleasure Themes and Get Rich Schemes is Ester Drang‘s only available vinyl release to date.
Pleasure Themes and Get Rich Schemes opens with the instrumental track “Easy Money” finding the Drang using electronics far more than normal. When the programmed drum tracks kick in, you realize that this is something very different. Layers of synthesizers are coupled with a simple guitar track and the electronic beats to meet a trumpet part. Drozd’s various contributions to “All the Feeling” result in a fuller, more expansive and lush version than what appears on Infinite Keys. The side closes with the title track showcasing Ester Drang’s signature atmospheric, cinematic sound. Tracks 1 and 4 are originals and Tracks 2 and 3 are alternate versions to those which appear on Infinite Keys.
The album artwork features portrait sketches drawn by singer/guitarist Bryce Chambers and was designed by keyboardist David Motter. Members of Ester Drang have been touring and recording with Pedro the Lion, Sufjan Stevens, Denison Witmer, Starflyer 59, Unwed Sailor, and even Ryan Cabrerra. In addition, several members collaborated with Unwed Sailor’s Johnathon Ford as Circle of Birds (Burnt Toast Vinyl). Ester Drang is planning to record their third full-length in 2005 which will be released on Jade Tree.