The cover art and press release for Endeavors, the fourth compilation EP from small San Francisco label Voltaire, focus on the idea that its music is what "a bunch of nasty, psychotic animals would be jamming in a festering urban back alley." The idea is a stretch to say the least, as most of Endeavors floats by without making much of an impression, let alone a psychotic one.
Harvey Sutherland's "That's The Fact, Jack" sets the tone with a noodling jazz-house plateaux. K-Maxx's "Wake Up" and XL Middleton's "One And Only" are cut from the same sort of vocoder-heavy cloth. The former, sounding like a slo-mo Chromeo or DMX Krew (who Voltaire has previously released), works best, as the latter leans too heavily on an uninspired bass synth riff.
The strike rate is just as iffy on the B-side. Timothy J. Fairplay's "Rooftop Meeting" blends Assault On Precinct 13-style bass atmospheres with upward-spiraling keys for an ominous sound that is refreshingly out of place. "Can't Let It Go" by Social Lovers is a bit saccharine, and Moon B's "Back On" takes its glowing abstractions this way and that a few too many times, unable to stick with just one idea.
TracklistA1 Harvey Sutherland - That's The Fact, Jack
A2 K Maxx - Wake Up
A3 XL Middleton - One & Only
B1 Social Lovers - Can't Let It Go
B2 Moon B - Back On
B3 Timothy J Fairplay - Rooftop Meeting