Guitarist Matt Papich is the heart and soul of Ecstatic Sunshine, a shapeshifting rock / loop / drone project based in Baltimore, Maryland. The project began in 2005 as a guitar duo (Papich and Dustin Wong) that played frenetic distorted 80s punk, (see debut album Freckle Wars, 2006) and has matured into loopy 60s minimalism-influenced post rock (see the delicate, low-end work on fourth album, Yesterday’s Work.)
Matthew Papich, who grew up in Philadelphia, started Ecstatic Sunshine with Dustin Wong, who grew up in Tokyo, when the two met at art school. Papitch moved from Lancaster, Philidelphia to Baltimore to attend the Maryland Institute College of Art, where he and Wong were involved in sculpture. Ecstatic Sunshine emerged out of the Baltimore noisemaking milleau that included the likes of Dan Deacon, Wzt Hearts, Video Hippos, The Deathset, Lexie Mountain, and Tall Grass.
Papich and Wong (self-)released two EPs as Ecstatic Sunshine – the four-song Dot
and the six-song Swirl.
The 2006 album, Freckle Wars
collected versions of material already released on Swirl
. Freckle Wars
was released on Washington, D.C.-based Carpark Records.
2007 saw a new addition to the group: Kieran Gillen, another art school friend. Gillen brought his electronics skills, mixing and sampling the two guitars in real time. He also brought repetitive minimalism in the key of Reich. Over the year, the vinyl only Living EP
, a twelve and a split seven (with Lucky Dragons) were released on Baltimore’s Wildfire Records.
The Papich-Wong-Gillem trio stayed together long enough to recorded Ecstatic Sunshine’s sophomore album Way
, but just before the album tour, Wong left the group to focus exclusively on his other project, Ponytail. Papich recruited electronic producer David Zimmerman, who added some weight and a dark edge to the sound.
The group’s third LP, Yesterday’s Work
, was released on Hoss Records in Novemeber 2009 (with Joe Williams (White Williams) on production).
Pappich also plays in Fakers with Joe Willimas, and performs solo under his given name. See: PUNKCAST1573 Matt Papich, from Baltimore MD, performing live at Sessions at Santa's, Santos Party House NYC on Apr 29 2009.
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