Visit Venus

The Endless Bummer

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The proceedings turned darker on Visit Venus' 1999 release The Endless Bummer, which found the duo taking the dub- and jungle-oriented sounds from Magic Fly Variations more than a few steps toward their outer limits. As the title suggests, it's a moody album that's heavy in scope as well as disposition. Stylistically, it's a quantum leap from the euphoric, loungy ambience of Music for Space Tourism, Vol. 1. Where the duo's debut was blissful yet somewhat one-dimensional, Bummer is an unpredictable, polymorphous sonic roller coaster. VV taps as many subgenres as possible: Electro ("The Big Tilt"), jungle ("Children of the Rave Solution"), acid jazz ("High Plane Drifters," "Space H"), trip-hop ("Hurt of a Nerd"), and even human beatboxing ("The Next Testament") are all refracted through VV's left-field lens. At times, two (or even three) styles seemingly in direct opposition to each other are spliced together into one song, making for a listening experience unlike anything else. And yet, with the multitude of shifting modes threatening to collapse under their own weight, the album still holds together admirably. If this isn't one of the greatest, most grandiose downtempo electronica albums ever, it's not for lack of effort or imagination.

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