Endurance – Enlightenment Interface
Album: Enlightenment Interface
Type: Full-length (LP)
Release date: 11 May 2017
Label: Sea of Clouds
- CD-R, edition 20 (Sea of Clouds, 2017)
- Digital download (Sea of Clouds, 2017)
Enlightenment Interface is Joshua Stefane’s (a.k.a. Endurance) ninth album in a single year. Previously, the ambient/drone artist had released music through Metaphysical Circuits, Illuminated Paths, and Moss Archive; Enlightenment Interface is his first for Sea of Clouds. Sea of Clouds was known early in their run for focusing on comprehensive merchandise packages that include floppy discs, glossy photo cards, stickers, and a piece of Romanian candy. This album received a limited CD-R run that sold out only a couple weeks after release.
Although Stefane’s previous work was primarily drone and synthesizer music, Enlightenment Interface incorporates elements of ambient vaporwave – which no doubt inspired the attention of Sea of Clouds. All six tracks have a “nu age” milieu, similar to earlier Sea of Clouds releases, with the opener and longest track “Downstream Progress” incorporating substantial repetition and field recordings to encourage blissing out. Some movements – especially the entirety of “Rest by the Waters” – feature the cyclical, calming synthesizers to be found in early Brian Eno ambient works like Discreet Music. Bird and insectsong are heavily featured on “Downstream Progress” and “Etherized”, with the former track including digital degradation that slowly becomes more apparent as the track progresses. “False Views” and “Once More as a Human” incorporate drone-esque, distorted synthesizers with a particularly cavernous aesthetic. Finally, “Insect Song” incorporates a mantra with vaporgoth ambient akin to Chinese Hackers or 骨架的.
These multiple interpretations of ambient music and the utilization of sampled material makes Enlightenment Interface a fairly diverse work yet unified under common tropes, making sixty minutes of ambient music a new trip each movement.
1. Downstream Progress – (19:32)
2. Rest by the Waters – (3:44)
3. Heavenly Confusion – (7:03)
4. False Views – (12:48)
5. Etherized – (9:50)
6. Once More as a Human – (8:54)