Out of nowhere, a musical project called Endothelin popped out. I found out by a guy promoting on an Internet forum I frequent. He also happens to be the admin, so it wasn't even just an advertising run. This does not mean I will go easy on them. Maybe the opposite.
Endothelin equals, other than the polypeptides, now-graduated art student Brendan Clarke and largely unknown James Morrell, who have been playing music together for an indefinite amount of time. Cracks and Distortions, their first album, was made to company Clarke's graduation exhibition. Unsurprisingly, this has probably a connection with it being called ambient music. The exhibition was the FMP exhibition at Burton College, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, United Kingdom. The album was released on June 16th, 2008 in MP3 form, and a rather low quality MP3, in fact. I must mention, however, that it does not hinder the quality as much as you'd believe. I still, however, don't agree with the people discussing it on the forums saying "128 kbps is good enough". Lossless files are to be announced. The album was sold in CD form for a maximum of a week before the pair decided that they did not like the quality. A limited CD version of 10 was released on the 16th.
Enough of background information. Cracks and Distortions opens with "Genesis" (no pun here, kids) which starts with a beep and noise, the beep remaining there for the whole song. As the noise stops, it is replaced by synths, which quite much loop before being overrun by a pounding beat in the distance. As the beat withdraws again, we are left with the synths, which end the song and unexpected, "New World" begins with it's rock beat which sounds very much sampled or synthesized. With its different synth sounds in the background, it goes quite much nowhere before quieting, when the violins almost drown the beat out. It never goes out, but the violins are thrown away and instead, we are given distorted screams and undistorted heavy breathing. I cannot see how they got the idea for that, and it just doesn't seem to work.
"Silent Revolution" sounds like field recording before the machinery sounds come in. The synthesized strings sing of melancholy, although I figure it would sound better with actual instruments. Short description, yes, but this is one of the better songs of the album. "Minus Sin" is an up-tempo song that slightly reminds me of ohGr. It seems that the album improves a lot if you skip the first two songs. "Minus Sin's" outro, however, does not work in its simplicity as it was meant to. "Falling Apart" begins with static and thunders before the brooding synth makes an opening for the gloomy piano. And that's quite much of what it is with strings coming in again. If "Silent Revolution" was melancholy, "Falling Apart" is melodrama - the happier intervals, however, seem to add little to the song.
Cracks and Distortions has bi-polar disorder. The odd songs are the depression and the even songs are the mania. "Almost Home" is an even song, if you haven't been counting. Just remember that mania does not always equal happiness, but rather the force of emotions. I can't say which is "Almost Home", but it has a calm drum beat to go with the synths. "Seven" would remind me of piano-ballad Nine Inch Nails if the loop in the background would be more complex. The chord progression of it sounds a bit weird to me. It, along with the rest of the piano, works somewhat, but the strings do a better job. The last minute of the song, is however, quite useless and barely repeats the intro for the outro. And here, it does not please me. "Exodus" (Now isn't that just cliché?) begins it's cheery exit with a drum machine and bass, which is ruined with the bleepy melody, but slightly fixed with the lower synth. A good song that suffers from its highest sounds.
Cracks and Distortions is not an album of the year. In fact, I'd call it mediocre. However, it's not painfully mediocre, but rather worth of a listen. One of its main faults is that it is that the songs fail to connect with each other, making it a bunch of random songs. Hope that you like those songs. Cracks and Distortions is available for free as 128 kbps MP3 at Endothelin's website.