Enduser: Run War
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Those quick to dismiss breakcore as a one-dimensional onslaught of seething breaks and relentless caterwaul should give Enduser's Run War a listen. Yes, some tracks do sound like they're deliberately designed to cripple your stereo system but Lynn Standafer also finds room for a good dose of stylistic contrast. The album's seventeen tracks (all previously unreleased and recorded between 2000 and 2004) generally group into three categories, though a breakcore nucleus in each track unifies the album. In the first group, Standafer spotlights female vocalists. Underlaying bits of “Hidden Place” with a doom-laden base, he turns Björk collaborator on “Under My Bed” plus gives Louise Rhodes a dramatic funk twist on “Choppin Lambs.” “Esb rmx” cleverly marries ululating Arabian singing and breakcore, while “Rohypnol Beats” (Rohypnol a sedative often associated with date-rape) pairs amped dancehall with a chipmunked female vocal trio. Enduser goes beyond mashups by creating settings that complement the singers rather than disjunctively collide with them.

In addition to steaming ragga throwdowns (“Glock dub,” “Dubplate #12,” “Bounty Drilla”), Enduser melds hip-hop and breakcore on the blazing anthems “Red Meth,” “Diggin Graves,” and “Blastin Muthafuckaz.” A hypnotic synth motif reigns throughout “Red Meth” as MCs bluster over convulsive beats, while other tracks writhe like flagellated behemoths. Admittedly the album's 78-minute length will exhaust many a listener before it's finished (placing meltdowns like “Armageddon in Dub” and “Battement morte” near disc's end doesn't help) but those unfamiliar with Enduser's past outings on Sonic Terror and Mirex have an encompassing initiation awaiting in Run War. And, after all, when was the last time you heard an album that worked Gregorian chant, hip-hop, and breakcore into a single song (“Dissin Monks”)?

April 2005