A decent album, but falls a bit short of its potential.
Steward Willons | Illinois | 02/17/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"My approach to Endless is through Pan Sonic's music. I'm not as familiar with Vega's work with Suicide, so I'll leave that to others to critique. Endless is a bit uneven, to my ears anyway. Some of the tracks really showcase Vainio and Vaisanen's genius at constructing cold, austere sounds from very simply sonic elements (e.g. sine waves, white noise); but others seem to rely too much on the vocals, which are themselves not always as interesting as one would hope.
"Medal" starts out promising with a powerful, groove-oriented soundtrack with Vega's outbursts feeding through delay lines. It's reminiscent of Pan Sonic's more aggressive style, but with vocals. Another highlight is "Outrage for the Frontpage" where Vega's vocals actually provide the foundation of the track while Vainio and Vaisanen's noise punctuates in a bizarre counterpoint.
My main criticism is that sometimes I feel the vocals receive undue importance. I didn't find them to be incredibly interesting sonically or lyrically. "No Home Kings" repeats the line "come to Jesus" as if this tired cliche was much more weighty than it actually is. Other than a little reverb and delay, there isn't a whole lot of vocal treatment happening. I was hoping for some strange transformation of Vega's voice through Pan Sonic's unusually production techniques. Overall, I just felt this could have been more adventurous.
From my comments, it probably sounds like I came looking for a Pan Sonic album and wouldn't appreciate the adulteration of vocals no matter what. This isn't true - I think there was potential, but it's mostly unrealized.
But, I don't want to give the impression that this is a weak album. It's definitely worth picking up for Pan Sonic fans. There are enough good tracks that it justifies the purchase. I just wish the lyrics were about something more engaging."
loteq | Regensburg | 03/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"VVV is a collaboration between two members (Vainio, Vaisanen) of Finnish noise terrorists Pan Sonic and Suicide's Alan Vega. If Autechre hadn't released "Tri repetae" two years before "Endless", it could've been a groundbreaking record. Pan Sonic's distorted, metallic sound fragments and sharp-edged beats are the perfect vehicle for Vega's "end of the world" visions, but I find this album in some parts dull and too repetitive. Unlike on Suicide's first, pioneering releases, Vega's talk-singing is rather predictable and calm, and often buried in the mix. Typical for Pan Sonic's output, some tracks are too skeletal and simple. Nevertheless, there's some very good and interesting material here, even some melodic parts, making this CD more rewarding and accessible than Pan Sonic's "Vakio" and "A". My favorites are "Medal", the mysterious, downtempo title track with Vega's piercing vocals, and "Sick sick USA" with complex beat constructions reminiscent of - Autechre, certainly! All in all, it's Pan Sonic's best effort, but probably not as innovative and compelling as you might have expected."