Dustin Wong – “Talking Walking Cloud” (Stereogum Premiere)

“Talking Walking Cloud” is a bonus track for Dustin Wong’s forthcoming Infinite Love. You may know Wong as guitarist/co-founder of Baltimore spastics Ponytail (and a member of Ecstatic Sunshine). Things may seem mellower here, but in the end, they’re just as frantic. As a starting point, it’s Wong with a single guitar, a few pedals (loop, octave, distortion, etc.), some drum machine, and inspiration from a line of John Fahey’s: “I was playing guitar but I heard an orchestra in my head. So I was really composing for a full orchestra.” Then there’s the heady conceptual arc surrounding the overall collection.

For Infinite Love (a reference to a psychedelic experience of Dustin’s), he wanted to focus on the potential of an actual album and the journey from beginning to end. This journey or musical process is increasingly being lost in the digital era, where often the focus is on tracks or collections of tracks. To highlight that journey, Infinite Love is presented as a double album, each with the same opening and different paths to the final codas. It is the listener’s choice which path to take. Dustin puts it thus, ‘In Infinite Love the listener gets two choices. I think of them as twins, a brother and a sister, living their lives, then reuniting.’

More simply put, it’s a sonic Choose Your Own Adventure: Side A’s the beginning. You decide to play either Side B or Side C next. Side D, the finale, is an exclusive LP-only bonus EP, Indigo And Crystal. “Talking Cloud” is an excerpt and, as the label tells me, “an early version” of that EP.

Dustin Wong – “Talking Walking Cloud”

Infinite Love is out in October via Thrill Jockey. It’ll be out as a double CD (one disc is “Brother,” the other “Sister”) and double LP. The LP version comes with the bonus EP. Both come with a DVD. “The DVD allows you to choose which musical path you’d like to have accompany the film, with the hope that the two different musical versions will change the experience of the movie.” With all the footnotes and errata, he should’ve just called it Infinite Jest. In any case, if Wong sounds busy, he is. But less busy than he was a couple of weeks ago. As Bmore Musically Informed reports, Ponytail is currently on hiatus. Wong explains:

Everybody is off going about their own endeavors, which is really exciting, I think. Ken’s writing his own music and Molly is on a journey to find her self and Jeremy drums for the Boredoms now. I think its really good, and if by chance the scattered happens to gather again, it would be another interesting experiment.

For now, he has this one.