A third of the way into Joshua Stefane’s new 60-minute recording under the name Endurance, it appears certain we’re in for a purely minimalist tour of his favourite drone sounds. This is by no means a criticism. The globetrotting Canadian researcher and translator who now calls Nara, Japan home can be fairly credited with top-notch contributions to the genre.
But if you allow yourself to drift off during those first 20 minutes, there’s a good chance you’re in for some deeply weird dreams.
We get our first indication that something else is on the way a little more than five minutes into “Twilight Arcade.” It’s quiet at first. A light scratching sound, or maybe it’s a gentle drip of water. While it fades after a couple of minutes, we have been put on notice. There’s much more to Echoic Architecture than first meets the ear.
“Automate” opens with a spinning that repeats throughout the piece. That’s coupled with gnawing scratches, a sound that can only be compared to falling bricks and various other miracles of engineering. All set to an elegant ambient bed track.
Subsequent pieces like “Infrastructure” and “The Entire City” round out the album’s industrial vibe. In the end, Echoic Architecture reveals itself to be a multi-layered tour de force.