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enduser - Left
Enduser's Lynn Standafer breaks a period of silence with this ambitious full-length release for the Ohm Resistance label. The opening synth-orchestral suite might have a title straight out of the Billy Ocean discography (how much does 'In My Sleep Instead Of My Life' sound like 'Get Out Of My Dreams, Get Into My Car'?) but it's a fittingly grandiose piece of soundscaping to commence the album with. Left plots a path through various permutations of drum'n'bass, dubstep and more atmospheric modes of composition, with pieces like 'Retaliation' and 'Of View' establishing a precedent for the level of damage Standafer is capable of causing with the percussive aspects of his programming, while 'Black Light' (featuring the vocals of Sol Thomas) takes a more Massive Attack-like approach to dark fusions of hip hop and mood-sculpting ambience. The title track manages to straddle both extremes, maintaining a fearsome beat presence alongside a consistent melodic integrity, necessarily investing a more exploratory tone in End.user's more instantly appealing, ferocious productions. One of the highlights on Left comes from a Scorn remix of 'Black Light', which scoops out the vocal and toughens up the drum pattern to establish a monstrous, half-stepping behemoth with a snare that sounds like a small incendiary device. It's another track that contributes towards a finely tuned, multifaceted album of energised beat narratives and cold urban gloom.