LABEL: Tympanik Audio
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
On his second full-length album, Endif's Jason Hollis delivers 11 brand new tracks that, if not exactly establishing a signature sound, do at the very least establish a signature approach: no-nonsense power noise that isn't overly harsh on the one hand nor overly melodic on the other. Tracks like "Surgery of the Soul" and "Ghost in the Machine" are rhythmic without being completely minimal, the bass-heavy kicks augmented by flourishes of static and distorted percussion. When Hollis does let melody creep into his music, it's raw without being deliberately atonal. "Churl" sees a sparse synth sequence emerge from static-laced drum patterns, and "Between Two Worlds" draws on the cutting analog lines of early acid techno without abandoning its power noise aesthetic. Similarly, Hollis isn't a slave to the generic four-on-the-floor club beat, but neither do his rhythms go for complexity for its own sake. "Reactionary" takes electro breakbeats and expands them into cavernous reverb; imagine an early '90s acid house party transplanted to a massive subterranean cavern, and you get the idea. Similarly, "Last Tribe," a collaboration with Replogen, is choppy, its beats fading rapidly in and out between distorted synthesizers and electric buzzing, but it holds together well enough that you can still dance to it, the glitches enhancing the song's structure instead of destroying it. While this album lacks the nods to EBM's more accessible side that marked Endif's previous album, it's perhaps a more mature work for that, revealing a producer who's found his groove and is working at the top of his game.
Visit Endif's MySpace page at www.myspace.com/endif for more information about the work of Jason Hollis.
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