Phillip Western "Worlds End" The Record Company recd002 2003

Disc One (63:18)

My Dad Played Clarinet (1:49)
No More You (7:07)
Land Based (4:37)
Paranoid (5:38)
DarkStar (3:48)
Simpleton (4:18)
The Gangs (4:06)
Tuesday Died Jack (2:40)
White People (4:43)
The Truth (5:35)
The Growers (4:31)
The Penis (1:40)
7 Years (4:32)
Worlds End (8:14)

Disc Two (72:34)

Asleep (parts 1 thru 21) (60:56)
Awake (parts 22 thru 29) (11:38)

Phillip Western is probably best known for his work since 1995 with cEvin Key in Download and platEAU but he has also simultaneously nurtured a burgeoning solo career.  "Worlds End" follows in the footsteps of 1998's "The Escapist" and 2000's "Dark Features" with two more discs.  There's an ethereal quality to nearly all of Western's work whether electronic, non or both - he seems to be playing guitar, bass and drums as much as programming these days - and the vibe is as much Spiritualized as it is Download.  This time he foregoes his own vocals, which mucked up "Dark Features" a bit, in favor of just samples or vocals by a few others.  Disc one pumps out the familiar blurry-eyed, body movin' techno of past projects though suitable guitar licks and chordal textures pepper or drive many tracks.  Things get positively hectic in "The Gangs" and "Tuesday Died Jack", the latter's schizophrenic rhythm backdrop for an equally manic monologue that sounds a heck of a lot like Spud from "Trainspotting".  The second half of disc one is loaded with the best tracks.  "White People" goes in the opposite direction, slowing things down to a lovely dub-like crawl.  "The Truth" is truly the masterstroke.  By the second minute everything coalesces to perfection:  the catchy groove, the synthetic and six string flourishes and Leigh Forslund's subdued vocal.  If there were any justice in this world this song would be all over the radio and everyone would be bobbing their head to it.  A Western album isn't complete without unexpected weirdness, so there's the spoken word tale in "The Growers" and the spoken "the penis" loop of "The Penis".   The eight minute title track is the grand finale and it crescendos with swirling guitar notes and cymbal laden drums, followed by a brief "weapons of mass hallucination" chorus.  That's more than enough but wait, there's more!  Disc two adds over 72 minutes of just ambient bliss divided into two suites, "Asleep" and "Awake".  Subtle tones, drones and guitar/bass notes make up the gentle drift of both, "Asleep" approaching perfection while "Awake" is a little more obtrusive and sample saturated.  Western's solo work has simply been more rewarding for me than the hit and miss of recent Download and platEAU.  For now "Worlds End" is only available from Colour ...

Colour Speaks

Where did I get this cd? - mail order via Colour Speaks.

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