Bach Part One by End ChristianRelease date: May 25, 2018
Label: Translation Loss Records / Internet & Weed / Corpse Flower Records
End Christian is a wild chimera. A beast of disparate elements all drawn together. From projects as diverse as Dälek (Alap Momin), Brutal Truth (Richard Hoak), Fad Nauseam (Gillian Dreadful), and Hex Inverter (Christian McKenna) comes a fascinating cast of characters whose experimental leanings manage to gel, surprise, and test on Bach Part One. Oh and their bassist – Vincent Rosa – wrestles on the side as Vinny the Fixxer.
There are also a number of guest appearances on this their second record. Yanni Papadopolous of Stinking Lizaveta laid down some indecipherable guitar work on the first of two tracks that reference “crushing Alexander Hamilton’s face”. This vendetta is either to do with discarding crumpled $10 notes or stomping on the face of a founding father. Both acts call to mind the Daveed Diggs-starring Broadway show. The parallels with Clipping don’t end there as we hear tight pneumatic beats, thick swathes of fuzz, and a penchant for dabbling with pop hooks evinced throughout this release. Although these elements rarely occur within the same track à la Clipping, the ingredients are all there (if a little mangled and dog-eared).
Justin Broadrick who, by now, should need no introduction turns up as well. ‘Great Escapes’ is a cavalcade of distant percussive tremors. Clashes and snaps from floating snares that wobble across a night sky. Womb-like drones swish and buzz and washed out vocals sink into the electronic mire. A trip hop slush builds into testing signals that toe the bath water, awaiting a satisfactory temperature before Broadrick lets loose with a tide of immovable distortion that just flattens everything.
We then get Mike Hill from Tombs on ‘Workmanlike’, which is thick with New York beats. Sounding like streets of busted shoes and the mild panic that informed the Def Jux material from the early 2000s. Albeit with a strung out Bowie impersonator gyrating across the top. This isn’t music that either knows of or wants a safe space. It’s vanquishing. It’s cathartic. It’s working through its mental passengers. It’s also the paranoid rave of the avant-garde.
‘Karaoke_So’ is cobbled from hurried and insecure breakbeats. All wild eyed and persuasive grins. A forehead of sweat in ankle deep snow. And, in turn, album closer ‘Altered For Concern’ is twisted from obsidian club floors. Shards of crimson highlighting the eyes you wish that you hadn’t seen. Engaging an industrial lurch that pumps enough for hips. The slurred vocals still dribbling in as things amp up. Frantic top end sparks break free from the bass behemoth bursting with static and release the ache that the blind dance floor permits.
But they’re not here just to kick. The first two tracks ‘Hamilton 2’ and ‘Anywhere w/You’ are like ethereal space pop performed in a sub aquatic plane. Everything is slowed down and submerged by ghostly bubbles of ideas. The latter of these tracks seems to soundtrack an unstable relationship that is both laced with promised threats and saccharine dreams. Amidst the fizzing electronics and the punchy drums we hear the sweet lines “I was gonna say something. Anything. Anywhere with you”. The otherworldly vocals of ‘Certs’ aren’t just off planet, they’re out of brain-scope too. From an other place. The other place. From deep in the Black Lodge. As twisted blackened electronics erupt and sidle through a party held by the incoherent and unconsolable we feel the gut-fall of helplessness.
Then, with tracks like ‘Venison Thaw’ and ‘Salvia’ it feels like emerging from a corridor of fractured thoughts and visions. Each gurgle and copped beat reverberating across the concrete hallway. The tinkle of hope. A clink of cell bars. And the pessimism of a downward, plummeting drone. “You’ll never hear the shadows” rings out mixed up in a shrieking swirl of slowing gnats wings.
This is how Swans would sound if they had found Burroughs’s secret stash of Benzedrine. The resultant goldfish memory convincing McKenna and accomplices that 4 minutes of scattered electronic frenzy were in fact 20 of calculated build up. Yet somehow it works. Leaving you muttering peculiar melodies into the broken morning.