Boomkat Product Review:
Debut full-length from Bala Club co-founder Endgame, who twists abstrakt club shapes into gaseous forms - like Burial, Felix Lee and Chino Amobi masterminding a soundtrack to a new Spawn movie.
'Surrender' has been a long time coming. Endgame has made a name for himself over the last few years both as a DJ and as a producer, hosting the legendary NTS show (and more recently, label) Precious Metals and releasing a slew of influential records on PTP, Infinite Machine and Hyperdub. Now his particular vision, a blend of dust-stomping club rhythms, heavy metal attitude, pop sleaze and sci-fi dystopia, has materialized in long-form and it's a trip.
'Fathless' opens things with a blast of atmospheric rainfall, hydraulic kicks and laser snares, bringing us into a Todd McFarlane-esque crumbled cityscape that's one part Blade Runner and one part Hellraiser. It's not all doom(core) and gloom though - Endgame's regular collaborator Yayoyanoh pops up on 'Barbed Heart' to raise the temperature and cut through the mood with sickly, tongue-twisting vocals that drip between knife-sharp percussion.
Somehow, the album managed to cram in all of Endgame's stylistic leanings - from hardcore punk to slippery ambience - without sounding busy or chaotic. It's a dark album, that layers contemporary anxiety and unease into syfy club forms, but it's not suffocating or indulgent. Using his own vocals to play against angular shards of noise and rumbling bass, Endgame creates music that's rich with contrast - as vivid and emotional as it is bleak and overcast.