- Stuart Howard's latest album, Ruinism, was about destruction, reducing sounds to ruins and building them again. It had a sleek electronic-pop sheen, but beneath the veneer there was something more chaotic going on. Every so often cracks would appear, letting dissonant clouds or stabs of grinding sounds escape. On The End Of Industry, Howard's follow-up EP, these poles are pitched further apart with a more antagonistic dialogue in between.
The End Of Industry is a complex set of recordings that utilise automated modular patches and messy instrumentation. The flittering "Complectual" is a non-linear composition that morphs from an glacial grime instrumental into aching vocal harmonies. "Holding On" crescendos with a drop that could also be described as grime, only with a feminine choral ambience instead of a masculine, MC-driven one—a welcomed shift in tone. Wrong sounds abound on "Shape Sharper," which swells and pulses with elements seemingly out of line with each other. "Alpha-Plus" bristles with bright arpeggios and shimmery choral loveliness, dropping out into a solo piano piece—another sharp gear-change, but not wholly out of step. "Smoke Streams" tries to sew all the threads together neatly, but leaving the EP's strangeness exposed would have worked. Even still, The End Of Industry is one of Lapalux's finest EPs to date.
02. Holding On
03. Shape Sharper
05. Smoke Streams