- Sherwood and Pinch make quite a pair. In one corner, you've got a pioneer of digital dub techniques; in the other, one of dubstep's pivotal figures who is also one of Sherwood's disciples. This makes Late Night Endless a record that could have been doomed to flounder under the weight of expectations. The duo don't seem to be feeling the pressure, though: their first single, 2013's "Bring Me Weed," made it look like a light-hearted buddy project, before they turned sour and serious with the dubstep-informed "Music Killer." Now, almost a year-and-a-half later, Adrian Sherwood and Rob Ellis return with a diverse and sometimes meandering album that falls somewhere between a mythical meeting of minds and two friends casually jamming.
The duo use dub as a stepping stone to try out other ideas, like the smoky trip-hop vibes of "Wild Birds," the spiritual throb of "Stand Strong" or the chugging, drum & bass-style "Gimme Some More." On the kaleidoscopic first half, dub's influence is mostly structural: musical phrases are repeated methodically, shifting slightly each time, while the other elements are stretched, shrunk and torn apart.
In the album's second half, all that playful colour turns sleek and obsidian. The final stretch feels like a retreat into Pinch and Sherwood's comfort zones, for better or for worse. All of Late Night Endless is blessed with Sherwood's unique three-dimensional sound-staging, but ear candy isn't enough on its own. "Precinct Of Sound" and "Different Eyes" are the kind of low-maintenance tracks that Sherwood and Pinch could have made quickly after a few Red Stripes.
When I interviewed Pinch last year, in an unpublished portion of our conversation, he talked about the effortlessness of the project—his instant connection with Sherwood, their powerful chemistry and their ability to make song after song after song (apparently there's at least another album's worth of material). And that's just it. Like so many "supergroup" collaborations, this album doesn't find its creators at the height of their boundary-busting powers. Instead, it shows them excelling at what they already know. As you'd expect, it's occasionally brilliant (e.g. the deranged "Bucketman"). For all the dub diehards, Late Night Endless is a must-have. For the rest, it's a leisurely detour in the catalogues of two great artists who proved themselves a long time ago.
02. Music Killer Dub Vocals
03. Gimme Some More (Tight Like That)
04. Bucketman Vocals – Daddy Freddy
05. Wild Birds Sing
06. Stand Strong
07. Precinct Of Sound
08. Different Eyes
09. Africa 138
10. Run Them Away
Bonus Track For Japan
11. Heat Rising 4:01