Debut full length from Charles Pierce (aka end) melds dystopian breakbeat with...
Marcus Scott 2003-02-24
Charles Pierce (the man behind end) has crafted this album of modern electronica as a kind of concept. Like science fiction at its best, he wants to capture the un-mastered realm of our imaginative experience.
In the press release Hymen make a big deal of the processes this music is made from, as it is made entirely from the complex overlay of samples via digital computer processing. However with the use of commercially available sample CDs,music software and computers replacing the use of keyboards and drum machines, it's hard to see what they're trying to prove here.
This is his first full length album and it comes complete with a lot of theoretical baggage. From the academic jargon of the press release through to the titles, "simulacra and simulations", "society of the spectacle" etc which sound like lifts from post-modern philosophy books, Pierce seems to want to make a grand statement.
The titles could be thereto make the listener aware of the de-contextualising the samples made to make this music, as well as giving some pointers about Pierce's reading habits and interests, but whatever, the music itself is good. Opener "eclipse of reason" is all complex drums, clicks and grainy whooshes over baleful strings, breaking down into unrecognisable washes of noise and up again into more complex seemingly random drum patterns.
end'screaky, grainy drums and cinema-for-the-ear pretensions are at their best on "Global media engine" with solid drums, a noise like a b-52 bomber, dark dissonant chords and sub bass adding up to one of the albums most epic moments..
"An elaborate accounting hoax" has an almost digi-dub feel to it, with off kilter chords, bleepy stabs and a shuffling drum break that make the track sound like some alien hybrid of '93 breakbeat hardcore. What's more the incredibly creepy "The culture industry" is constructed from a glitchyhip hop drumgroove and a needle sharp melody, underpinned by deep bass drones. It's this kind of gear change that keeps the listener's interest level up.
Overall the album owes as much to Squarepusher as the processed glitchscapes of Oval, but is best described as a richer, more sophisticated take on Ed Rush and Nico's genre-breaking dystopian drum and bass on early No-U turn records.
The soundtrack like elementswork too;the strange alien clicks and drones add a level of oddity that engages the listeners imagination and takes them deeper into the music.