Instrumental post-rock whiz kid Dean Summach, aka Economics, is coasting on his latest EP entitled A/D Vol 1 – the first of many releases promised for 2011.
Economics – a cool-but-unfortunate name if you are stalking Mr. Summach via Google – first began as a DIY basement-recording project that quickly began leaking out to the public via short films, ads and a locally produced feature film. Although he released his first self-titled EP to “little fanfare” as Summach says, his latest ambitions are by far his most realized and exciting to date.
Even better, the Saskatoon-based musician says that Saskatonians won’t be left wanting for new material any time soon.
“Each EP will sound quite different from the last, so they probably wouldn’t fit together on a single album,” says Summach. “With these EPs I wanted to experiment with different techniques and equipment that I haven’t used before. That being said the first EP kind of goes back to the way I used to record when all I had was a 4-track, while the next two installments will be made using entirely different methods.”
“I’m also working on a full-length album that will be released later this spring or summer,” says Summach. “These songs don’t necessarily fit with what will eventually be the second album.”
Combining the ominous sounds of distant-thunder post-rock with verdant guitar loops and electro pop, Economics is an instrumental force that keeps his audience listening with unpredictable guitar flourishes while still maintaining a reputable amount of drone and ambience.
With assistance coming from his wife Sheena, Summach manages to convey plenty of musicianship despite his stripped-down approach to playing live.
“What I like about listening to instrumental music is that the songs can basically be about whatever you want them to be – you listen and you might see things or feel things that are completely different than what the artist intended,” explains Summach. “Whereas there’s no doubt what a song like ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ is all about, although this title confused me when I was a kid. So I try to convey a very general theme or mood, and the listener can fill in the blanks.”
With A/D Vol. 1 being packaged with old-timey floppy-discs – a saucy nod to dead formats – both Dean and Sheena are showcasing their myriad of talents using the EP as a portfolio piece for their own local production company Plainclothes Press.
“For some reason, probably because I’m old, I find it much more satisfying to spend money on something that you can touch and bring home and flip through, instead of a file that sits on your computer,” says Summach. “A well-designed album always seemed to enhance the listening experience for me.”
“Sheena and I are really into packaging as artwork, instead of just a vehicle for art,” he continues. “We have this old premium plus cracker tin in our kitchen. When it was made and sold, it was just something to put crackers in. But the tin itself is really beautiful for some reason, so now it sits up on our shelf. I like the idea of packaging an album that people will want to put on a shelf or hang on their wall.”