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Jazkamer & Smegma - Endless Coast

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Artist: Jazkamer & Smegma

Album: Endless Coast

Label: No Fun

Review date: Oct. 23, 2007

Filled with clank and clutter, Endless Coast assembles a smorgasbord of sound, surprisingly little fury, and even less significance. The five pseudonymous members of Smegma, together with the three members of Jazkamer (adding Carlos Giffoni to the duo of Lasse Marhaug and John Hegre), don't kick up the storm one might expect, but instead maintain an admirable level of control. The five songs here, spread over 34 minutes, feel somewhat longer, and it's a journey that, while steering past more than a few interesting landmarks, doesn't actually lead anywhere.

The same set of descriptors can more or less apply to any of the five pieces: there's a great deal of random clink, buzz, rattle, squawk, whoosh, buzz, scrape and crunch. From time to time they'll build up a denser aggregation of noises, some rumbling drones and twisted vocals, but soon enough things will get back to a fairly consistent, laid-back field of foggy noises. "Heavy Fog" builds up a reasonable head of steam towards the end of its twelve minutes before ending with some cute little noises, and "Stone Eater" contains more synth wiggling, but it's hard to pick out particular high points.

"Carnivorous Bog" ends the album with muttering voices and moments of claustrophobic wall-of-sound before evolving into a surprising web of chaotic rock complete with free-style drumming. It's an odd way to end the album since it's the only portion that seems to really engage. And this isn't because the rock accoutrements solve any particular problem; it's more that the song actually moves from point A to a different point, which the others don't really manage.

For those seeking collections of intriguing sounds and unidentifiable audio sources, Endless Coast could make for a bit of entertainment, but it's a bit like a Hershey's bar it seems a bit satisfying at first, but then you realize that it was actually a rather empty experience.

By Mason Jones

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