You might have wished you were at Glasto 94. Or The Screen On The Green in 77. Or Hyde Park in 69 for that matter. But how is it that you’re reading this magazine and not kicking yourself for having missed out on an evening at The Endless House project?
Held over six weeks in the spring of 1973, the mysterious venue, buried deep within the Białowieża Forest region that borders Poland and Belarus, featured some of the most forward-thinking electronic music east of Cologne.
At least that’s what the sleeve notes indicated if you managed to snag a copy of the ‘Endless House’ compilation when it appeared back in early 2011. In the run up to its release word of the album and its lost history began to leak out. There were even interviews with the Czech millionaire Jiri Kantor, the magazine mogul/tastemaker who funded this elaborate project.
In reality, it was all the handiwork of the London-based Dramatic Records, who went the whole hog, including a set of photos and postcards with the release that depicted biographical details of the fictional artists involved.
Of course, these days that kind of gentle ruse is de rigueur, but ‘Endless House’ was something of a trailblazer. The music was also pretty splendid. Imagine the sound of a splinter group made up of Stereolab defectors and forgotten Orb collaborators. Standout pieces like ‘Baltic Expo’ by “cybernetic showman” Felix Uran could confidently stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of μ-Ziq or the more chilled side of Squarepusher. Rasmus Folk’s ‘Pavel’ is a gorgeous swath of ambience, and Kantor himself tags the collection with the tech housey ‘Warum Ist Alles So Schnell Passiert?’ (‘Why Did It Happen So Fast?’)
Beautifully arranged, the further irony of Endless House is that it wasn’t recorded with vintage analogue gear at all. Instead, our musical perpetrators used early version of the popular DAW, Fruity Loops, which, considering the results, is a noteworthy accomplishment in itself.
Copies of the original (particularly with all the inserts) are tricky to find, but London’s Kit Records (kitrecs.bandcamp.com) has reissued an expanded version of the original release along with a repress of the “mythical” follow-up EP from Rasmus Folk and Walter Schnaffs. Prost!