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•725 end. science/fiction. cd. october2k2.



eclipse of reason
immeasurable distances
the image economy
global media engine
simulacra and simulations
an elaborate accounting hoax
society of the spectacle
the culture industry
theatres of memory
dead media


download pressrelease.pdf

all music by c. peirce 2001-2002. additional keyboard treatments by nicholas bourbaki. "theatres of memory" originally composed for the film pretend by julie

photography by seze devres –
mastered at metarc, belgium. layout by salt.

the term “science-fiction” often dredges up from memory two things:
b-movies, and bizarre, unsettling music. music that’s supposed to capture the feel of the otherworldly, the alien, the unexplored and therefore un-mastered realm of our imaginative experience. sonic themes and melodies so evocative they craft visions in your mind’s eye. that’s pretty much what you get on end’s debut album for hymen records, science/fiction.

throughout end’s science/fiction is a strong sense of theme and melody that’ s as resonant as any modern electronic album you’ll find today. science/fiction revels in expansive percussion patterns and lavish chord structures that swoon with tension, where sonic ideas posited in unrelenting break sequences escalate into apocalyptic zeniths—then implode to silence. an arresting epic unfolds inside your ears.

science/fictionís romantic depth makes it kin to the work of aphex twin, atom heart, biosphere, dead hollywood starsóand a dead-ringer for fans of unitís sleeper classic from 1999, the narcoleptic symphony. yet unlike those other artists, endís charles peirce, who has appeared previously on planet mu and collaborated with snog and speedranch (forthcoming on ipecac records), builds the dark post industrial themes of science/fiction without the aid of traditional synths and drum machines, relying exclusively on samplers and computer equipment.

“my concern with end,” writes peirce, “is digital process, with my personal definition of digital being the ability to copy, clone, and sample things. so end is really about sampling as process, the recontextualization of sounds and ideas, not simply aesthetic means.

“so, while science/fiction is meant to sound like the sort of things people make via drum machines and keyboards, i don't actually own either.”

this degree of unorthodoxy is not only reflected in the music peirce makes as end, but in his entire life experience. although born in virginia, peirce moved numerous times, calling various states (and for a short time guatemala) home before attending college to explore literature, creative writing, and other humanities. like so many other americans his age, peirce found computers intuitive and went to work maintaining mainframes after college—and began experimenting with his roommate’s extensive music studio. but unlike so many other americans his age, peirce shuns the prevailing mass-consumption ideology, owning neither cell phone, car, nor tv. he
professes an admiration for serge gainsbourg, marxist theory, musique concrète, and experimental literature (some of which is evident in the song titles for science/fiction). in short, he’s not interested in living the way everyone else lives.

in a similar fashion, science/fiction doesn’t sound like the things other sample-crazy people make. science/fiction posits musical constructs of intense architectural detail, where the composite brandishes these details as proof that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. deconstructing “an elaborate accounting hoax” produces a collection of break beats, a rumbling bass line, and various sonic artifacts. but as a whole, the song evolves from chaotic effects swimming in stereo into a shimmering convergence of speed and needle-sharp chimes that plays with past prodigy or orbital anthems as much as it does with contemporary matthew herbert or
squarepusher. similarly on “immeasurable distances” and “society of the spectacle,” the resulting effect of end’s complex sample overlays is one where melody and theme seem to emerge from otherwise meaningless sound artifacts.

yet it would seem that end should sound more fractured, clinical, and academic like other artists who experiment with process, such as oval, frank bretschneider, or carsten nicolai.

“i don't think you can decontextualize sound sources entirely,” notes peirce, explaining why end sounds so different from other process-focused artists. “for me theme or narrative is of course important in that i don't think you can escape the cultural context of a particular sound. we all have associations we make, and while these associations can change over time—say, how people our age think of ‘the blue danube’ in relation to 2001 rather than its original historical context—they are just as inherent to the work as the actual notes or noises being played.”

short of spiraling into a jamesonian cognitive mapping exercise, peirce suggests that end and science/fiction resides in a different kind of space.

“sampling, though still about process, has transformed pretty fundamentally of late i think. whereas people used to sort of sample individual sounds, drums, riffs, whatever, we can now sample genres, styles, the entire body of a musician’s work. we can play as much with the context and associations that a sample brings about as with the sound itself.”

science/fiction, as such, is about the resonance that musical themes—wherever they may originate—have upon our emotional experience of that music.

“music as artwork is fine,” notes peirce, “but there's something to be said for ‘album’ as an experience and as a way to connect to people on a bit of a more visceral level.”

hymen records will release science/fiction in a digipack format with artwork by seze devres.



already causing quite a bit of a stir with followers of the planet mu label and venetian snares in particular, this excellent debut album from end delivers an excellent assembly of intricate electronic work with a harrowing edge. 'eclipse of reason' employs orchestral strings that are instantly reminiscent of autechre's beautifully constructed 'amber', while the beats are of a tougher, more cut-up nature. 'the image economy' toughens proceedings up with an immense quasi-electroid shuffle, sped up and broken apart by static and the eventual erruption of a splintered amen break - genius. 'the culture industry', meanwhile, uproots a crushed hip hop beat and laces it with a spannered piece of detuned engineering - deep, resourceful, original, squashed largeness assured. 12 tracks, future electronic devastation, essential listening. killer.


end caught my attention in the last months with only two tracks released, one on last year's planet mu compilation (w/ speedranch) and another one on the masonic comp on hymen. so i was looking forward to hear his debut album and, i have to say, i'm not disappointed. in the first four tracks of science/fiction you can discover his peculiar clicky and crackling breaks, surrounded by dense ambient textures and dark strings. track 2 immeasurable distances haunts you with hysterical melodies, while global media engine creates an epic crescendo of 4/4 sub bass kicks between two intricate rhythmical sections. simulacra and simulations will fill your speakers with dripping sounds, introducing the central part of the album, which features simpler rhythms but doesn't lack in atmosphere. an elaborate accounting hoax is the most mellow sounding track of all, immediately annihilated by the stomping break of society of the spectacle which takes you back to the gloomy mood of science/fiction. cavernous basses, deep kicks and glacial melodies, with the help of sudden extreme digital processing, build a sinister soundscape around the listener. the last two tracks return to the beginning, semiopolis has a weird 7/8 time signature with beatiful piano notes, while the title track contains all the aforementioned elements, faded in a long beatless outro. with other releases planned for 2003 (including an album with speedranch to be released on mike patton's ipecac label), end is surely one to watch. (luca m)

baked goods week 21/10/2002

already causing quite a bit of a stir with followers of the planet mu label and venetian snares in particular, this excellent debut album from end delivers an excellent assembly of intricate electronic work with a harrowing edge. 'eclipse of reason' employs orchestral strings that are instantly reminiscent of autechre's beautifully constructed 'amber', while the beats are of a tougher, more cut-up nature. 'the image economy' toughens proceedings up with an immense quasi-electroid shuffle, sped up and broken apart by static and the eventual erruption of a splintered amen break - genius. 'the culture industry', meanwhile, uproots a crushed hip hop beat and laces it with a spannered piece of detuned engineering - deep, resourceful, original, squashed largeness assured. 12 tracks, future electronic devastation, essential listening. killer.

album di debutto su hymen per end. (c. peirce con l'apporto di nicholas bourbaki), elettronica destrutturata, drammatica, tecnoide ed altera, romantica ma nevrotica, sulla scia delle sperimentazioni di aphex twin, atom heart e biosphere, nutrita da stridenti estetiche, cercando di catturare il lato alieno dell'esistenza, fra inesplorato e bizzarro, utilizzando il sampling come processo creativo, ricontestualizzando suoni ed idee, in una visione concreta, personale, guardando tuttavia al digitale in maniera diretta, come una semplice opportunità (e abilità) nel copiare, clonare e mettere assieme frammenti. science/fiction è stato composto interamente con campioni e software di sintesi, mescolando tensioni industriali, ed oscillanti ritmiche, condite da tutto l'armamentario contemporaneo di bleep, click e distorte battute sguscianti, fra ronzii ed ammiccamenti sintetici, non disdegnando arpeggiate melodie e momenti evocativi, atmosfere filmiche e oblique citazioni. sicuramente un'opera intensa, fra le più significative del catalogo hymen, una label che sempre offre spunti di grande interesse. (aurelio cianciotta)


end first came to my attention with his remix for snog on their "relax into the abyss" album, where he provided a quirky, razor sharp mix of the typically scathing are you normal enough?. following a preview track on the "masonic" compilation earlier this year, we are now presented with end's debut release on hymen records, "science/fiction", an album which was composed entirely with software synthesis and samples. end is not the first the act to do this, nor will he be the last. the reason i mention it is that this project is all about forward thinking and looking towards the developments of tomorrow [as the album title suggests], so this eschewing of outboard gear is his statement; flying the flag for the future of not merely electronic music, but composition in general. with such grandiose intentions, it would be hard for the music to live up to the hype, but thankfully it does. immediately we are surrounded by otherworldly sounds, arpeggiating out a peculiar little melody like the twinkling control panels from 1960s sci-fi movies - this is the sound of sheer technology. end seems to try and capture to current electronica zeitgeist in this entire opening track; moving as he does through sharp techno beats in the style of xingu hill, to autechre-like granular crunching and hip-hop influenced [imitated] scratching. it is all a bit overwhelming at first and, as such, most of the tracks do not make much of an impact upon the first listen. this is not an album that we can simply consume; it must be explored, taking time to appreciate every subtle nuance of the compositions. the rest of the album continues in this manner, assimilating various features of modern idm/electronica into each composition, reappropriating them towards his own unique style of music. the tracks that i feel display this to its fullest effect are global media engine which had previously aired on the "masonic" compilation, with its blend of scraping noise and synthesized, rhythmic blips; society of the spectacle with its glitchy, plunderphonic orchestral refrain building into an almost futuristic hip-hop track; and closing track, the epic dead media with its indescribable rhythmic sounds and underpinning electronic air, moving into bars of dismantled piano lines, ethnic percussion and ultimately closing on a grandiose, cinematic string line. in all, "science/fiction" is certainly a strong album, and for me, one of the highlights of the hymen catalogue. the problem i see with it is that for something that is ostensibly so forward thinking, it comes across sounding undeniably contemporary. there is nothing new here, except some unexpected combinations of sounds. we have seen all these tricks before and end would be intolerably dull if he didn't manage to perform them as well as he does. electronic wizardry, or a mere fluke? i'd like to think it was the former, but only time will tell… (gavin lees)


before releasing the debut album science/fiction end already surprised with a track on hymen's excellent masonic compilation and one on last year's planet mu compilation (with speedranch). charles peirce, the man behind end also worked together with snog. the music on science/fiction is completely different from snog as well as speedranch though. end's sample based technology full of rumbling bass lines reminds slightly of the latest mlada fronta release. dark, almost eerie cut-up beats have been combined with sonic themes and melodies. drum and bass just lurks around the corner, but never become evident. beautiful sensitive strings are on top of those strong crushed irregular beats. the cavernous basses, deep kicks and glacial melodies are the main ingredients of end's, but there is more to it. a sort of fine elecronic piano tunes, static noises or digital clicks have been interwoven in a very nice way. one of the tracks on the second part of the album, theatres of memory was originally composed for the film pretend by julie talen. this track and several others make you aware of the filmic elements of the music, which are slightly hidden due to the stomping beats. the resulting effect of end's complex sample overlays is one where melody and theme seem to emerge from otherwise meaningless sound artifacts. (paul bijlsma)


le propos central de end est l'art fugitif du sampling, comme essence même de la musique, ou plus précisément la recontextualisation des sons et des idées, leur transposition, en dehors du simple concept esthétique (ou musical). l'intuitivité , l'attractivité, la tessiture splendide qui caractérisent cet album en font une grande œuvre architecturale, à la fois (a)rythmique, élégamment symphonique et intimiste dans proportions équilibrées. la schizophrénie des périodes de temps forts et de temps faibles d'un richard d. james, la profondeur abyssale d'un third eye foundation, (lignée ghost), la puissance eidétique d'un atom heart… sont quelques unes des lignes dominantes, des motifs qui ornent ce science/fiction. le caractère futuriste, les éléments d'anticipation qu'on perçoit dans ce science/fiction sont loin d'être les caractères prépondérants de l'album. ici, end oppose volontiers la science, rationnelle, cartésienne, irrévocable comme les rythmes, beat qu'il installe et le domaine de la fiction, de l'immatériel, de l'imaginaire, du fictif, qui trouve un écho favorable dans ces nappes fébriles et obscures en provenance de régions lointaines et désertiques. la texture du son est en tous points remarquable, les climats scarifient notre apathie avec une vigueur prodigieuse et les infrabasses se chargent de laminer ce qu'il reste de nous. ni tout à fait dansant, ni tout à fait expérimental, end fait le grand écart entre les genres et accorde les paroisses. (j.j.)


with track titles like "eclipse of reason," "the image economy," and "society of the spectacle," charles peirce (end) brings together a collection of damning contemporary social criticisms while referencing major works of "postmodern" philosophy and sociology. the song titles alone provide an introduction to thinking about the world differently, perhaps even in a better way. musically, end's work is also highly admirable, with a unique style of found-sound beats, dense ambient textures, and string montages.


avete presente quando i recensori si atteggiano come se il tale artista l'avessero scoperto loro, spesso facendo figure pessime, perche' c'e' sempre qualcun altro che lo ascoltava gia' prima? qui a basebog succede un paio di volte al mese di invocare la paternita' di una 'scoperta' quasi a fare una gara di chi e' piu' avanti. beh, end l'ho scoperto io, me ne vanto, e sfido chiunque a dimostrare che qualcuno lo conoscesse prima che io ne parlassi in ben due recs. quindi insisto col consigliarvi di acquistare science/fiction, dal momento che e' veramente emozionante, avvolgente e intrigante. nei primi quattro pezzi e negli ultimi tre end usa dei breaks dal suono caratteristico, scoppiettante e intricato, con casse nitide supportate da bassi morbidi, mentre nella parte centrale si affida a breakbeats piu' convenzionali che raggiungono il culmine nel profondo incalzare di society of the spectacle. tutt'attorno disegna scenari sonori ampi e tetri con archi sintetici e uso massiccio di effetti di processing e incanta con melodie sublimi, a volte isteriche come in immeasurable distances, lievi e allegre in an elaborate accounting hoax e deliziosi e semplici note di piano in semiopolis, che fra l'altro e' basata su una spiazzante ritmica in 7. l'album si chiude con uno sfumare dell'atmosfera delle tracce precedenti nella title track, che racchiude tutte le peculiarita' di end, in quanto intensa, suggestiva e melanconica. vale un po' il discorso fatto per einoma: musica che da sola appaga i sensi oltre all'udito, sempre pero' con un umore scuro e quasi angosciante, suggerito anche dalla perfetta masterizzazione, dalla pulizia del suono e dall'artwork affascinante. ed e' solo l'inizio, vedrete l'anno prossimo cosa ci regalera' quest'omino... (luca)

black #30

end ist so ein seltener fall von musik, die einfach nur gut ist, trotz einer bis ins detail durchgehenden konzeptionierung, die oft genug das intuitive der musik mit theorie zuschüttet. während er sich, wie an den tracktiteln ablesbar, durch die kulturwissenschaften hangelt, von der frankfurter schule bis baudrillard, ist er musikalisch abstrakt und zugänglich zugleich, modern und trotzdem noch rockend. das hat vorher nur lassigue bendthaus so richtig geschafft, dessen erstes album ja auch aus der beschäftigung mit baudrillard entstand. simulation und simulacra, noch treffender paßt es wohl kaum auf den amerikaner charles peirce, der alle klänge und instrumente nur am computer erstellt hat. keine wirklichen keyboards, drummachines oder klaviere. alles nur virtuell. dafür sphärische streicherflächen, dunkle klangschwaden, breaks und rollende klickrhythmen, melodische epen, die aus elektronischem computer singsang und kalten sci-fi sounds, warme klanglandschaften und andersweltliche sympathieträger machen. dieses abstrakte grooven wie bei xingu hill oder komet ist eine hohe kunst, die auch end meisterlich beherrscht. aus fragmenten und partikeln wieder eine einheit zu schaffen, die über das bloße sample als verweis auf ein anderen kontext hinaus geht, also das sample als reiner baustein für atmosphäre und dynamik, ist schwer und endet oft in akademischen sackgassen, die am dominierenden popkontext von musik vorbeigeht. bei end dagegen schwinge ich mit, laß ich mich fallen, werde ich getrieben und wirble herum in endlosen klangtiefen, emotionalen melodien und dribbelnden beatkaskaden. musik als hedonistischer spaß und gehirnstimulanz in personalunion. end ist hoffentlich nur der anfang von mehr. (till)


end is one of the rare cases of music that is simply good despite a detailed conceptualization which often buries the intuitive element of music under a thick layer of theory. while the track titles are road signs for a trip through the academic canon of cultural studies, from the frankfurt school to baudrillard, end keeps it equally abstract and accessible, modern, yet rocking the house. a feat only lassigue bendthaus has successfully accomplished before whose first album arose from his reading of baudrillard as well. simulation and simulacra, it can hardly be more fitting for the american charles peirce who created all sounds and instruments on the computer. no real keyboards, drum boxes or pianos. it's all just virtual, spherical strings, dark sound clouds, breaks and rolling click rhythms, melodic epics, hewn from electronic computer humming and cold sci-fi sounds that form warm soundscapes and otherworldly enticing music. the art of abstract grooves, mastered by the likes of xingu hill or komet, is a complicated skill end is equally capable of. creating unity from fragments and particles that refer to ideas and feelings beyond the mere original context of the sample, i.e using the sample as building block for atmosphere and dynamics, is difficult and often ends in academic cul-de-sacs, missing the pop context of most music altogether. however, in the case of end i let myself fall, i am being pulled along and i happily swirl among endless sound depths, emotional melodies and dribbling beat cascades. music as hedonistic pleasure and brain stimulant in one. end is hopefully the beginning of more. (till)


this full-length debut on hymen (with previous noticeable appearances on planet mu's cosmic forces of mu and hymen's own masonic compilations) by c. peirce strives for the conceptual integrity, backing the music (created only with the aid of sampler and computer) with heavy dose of theory. this is what threw me off at first - the wealth of references that very deliberately tried and failed to find the way into the music (the last drop was track titles that appeared to be nothing but a very contrived name-dropping). the music was appropriately dark and crunchy, obviously technoid, but lacking dramatic expanse of <tekniq> or mind-boggling trickery of early beefcake. a little bit later, after some deliberation, I came back to this album, and finally found a niche for it, arriving to the point where at least I could explain it to myself and enjoy it (a necessary and rewarding endeavor). it is a conscious effort to build a very cold, very strict technoid soundscape where melody and sentiments are perfectly measured, where heavy industrial drum&bass rhythms are kept intentionally firm and metallic, their variation under constant control. once you voluntary subject yourself to the rigidity of this sonic construction, once you absorb and accept the basic collection of simple building blocks, once you learn to notice the details of sonic architecture and appreciate complex rearrangements within those boundaries, you will be able to enjoy this album fully. this might be quite an involved process for the casual listener - one has to follow the whole chain of transformation - from deconstruction to the very basics and back to the elaborate result of those efforts. one will notice that at any step of this process the music also holds a very primitive yet effective appeal - sci-fi mystery, a touch of aggression and ever-present melody. end it is a good addition to the label's roster, a very focused exploration of the genre, further refining the concepts of this style and aesthetic. at times displaying almost scholarly attitude, it is nevertheless something I have been really enjoying for quite a while now. (anton)

bbc - experimental review

charles pierce (the man behind end) has crafted this album of modern electronica as a kind of concept. like science fiction at its best, he wants to capture the un-mastered realm of our imaginative experience. in the press release hymen make a big deal of the processes this music is made from, as it is made entirely from the complex overlay of samples via digital computer processing. however with the use of commercially available sample cds, music software and computers replacing the use of keyboards and drum machines, it's hard to see what they're trying to prove here. this is his first full length album and it comes complete with a lot of theoretical baggage. from the academic jargon of the press release through to the titles, "simulacra and simulations", "society of the spectacle" etc which sound like lifts from post-modern philosophy books, pierce seems to want to make a grand statement. the titles could be there to make the listener aware of the de-contextualising the samples made to make this music, as well as giving some pointers about pierce's reading habits and interests, but whatever, the music itself is good. opener "eclipse of reason" is all complex drums, clicks and grainy whooshes over baleful strings, breaking down into unrecognisable washes of noise and up again into more complex seemingly random drum patterns. end's creaky, grainy drums and cinema-for-the-ear pretensions are at their best on "global media engine" with solid drums, a noise like a b-52 bomber, dark dissonant chords and sub bass adding up to one of the albums most epic moments.. "an elaborate accounting hoax" has an almost digi-dub feel to it, with off kilter chords, bleepy stabs and a shuffling drum break that make the track sound like some alien hybrid of '93 breakbeat hardcore. what's more the incredibly creepy "the culture industry" is constructed from a glitchy hip hop drum groove and a needle sharp melody, underpinned by deep bass drones. it's this kind of gear change that keeps the listener's interest level up. overall the album owes as much to squarepusher as the processed glitchscapes of oval, but is best described as a richer, more sophisticated take on ed rush and nico's genre-breaking dystopian drum and bass on early no-u turn records. the soundtrack like elements work too; the strange alien clicks and drones add a level of oddity that engages the listeners imagination and takes them deeper into the music. (marcus scott)

static signals

innovative and intoxicating, science fiction is an expertly crafted beat-driven construction set that pushes the techno envelope through new dimensions of pattern, structure and sound. the dialogue is synthetic, animated and fresh amongst constantly changing sonic characters in a disarranged and fractured macrocosm. percussive electronic beats, pulses, scrapes, blips . . . and a billion other synthetic fragments revel in their creation and dissolution. tattered, buzzing and futuristic, they ping and twitch and waver, they clumsily fall forward and collapse into spastic debris, they tap and pop and click in varied rhythms and intensities. science fiction is an eternal, self-destructing machine colony bent on recycling and remanufacturing itself into new and unexpected patterns and revolutions. at times a strong head-nodding theme emerges; here the elements suddenly come together and agree on a distinct direction amidst the traffic. yet these themes never seem repeated in the same way twice; even the most core, consistent patterns and beats alter themselves ever so slightly with each iteration while others spin off in even more chaotic and independent directions. somehow, the result is an amazingly fresh, ever-colorful sound that constantly seeks and redefines it's own nature. science fiction's effect is brilliantly disconcerting; it's fluid odyssey leaves you spinning and lost . . . and then found once again. the widely varied pieces remain dynamic and satisfying for many listenings to come.


leicht tragisch angehauchte knisterelektrotracks mit schnatternden kristallinen plastikbeats und viel stringsounds und ähnlichem aus der welt der orchester, fast technoiden effekten stellenweise und mit immer dark nervöser grundstimmung. manchmal hat man das gefühl, die tracks sind einfach etwas zu schnell um eine tiefe entwickeln zu können, die die sounds doch so klar aufrufen wollen, und selbst auf den ruhigeren tracks schwelt dieses ravig grossraumige immer mit, vor allem aber auf stücken wie "simulacra and simulations" überzeugt einen dann doch das lässige stöbern in effekten der dsp gruselkammer. (thaddi)


legendary idm work of american musician charles peirce released on hymen under number 725. even nowadays this album is still attractive for the listeners - this music is still interesting, the content is urgent as well as several years ago, the album's design perfectly conveys its general mood. i remember my dialogue with charles in 'bunker' club, those days charles spent his time at moscow with his concerts. i asked him what was the reason for creating this album. he answered that some time ago he lived at a house, on the ground floor of which there was a book shop with sci-fi and fantastic literature. sometimes he visited this shop, looked through the books, read a lot and of course it influenced his creative work. that's why this album science/fiction is almost impregnated with the energy of this shop and these books. though he understood that only when the whole work was over. it often happens so that someone's creative work influences other people and inspires them for their own creations, that was the case of this very kind - accumulating of energy and discovering of new horizons of true creativity. from the very beginning - first crackles and crunches of track "eclipse of reason" you understand what 's going on - serious concentrated immersion into another reality. sci-fi is ready to embrace its readers and listeners, enrich them with new ideas about future and support with all necessary stuff for travelling through intellect hyper-spaces. titles of the compositions say for themselves - "the image economy", "global media engine", "society of the spectacle", "dead media"...



c. peirce & d. thrussell


discography 10.2002:
science/fiction. cd. hymen records. 2002

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