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ENDGAME / HISTORY

Jim Tetlow, Alan Freeman, Steve Freeman
free-improvised live electronics & other instruments


Kontakte, cover by Alan Freeman

You can find a nice informal write-up on Endgame's history (penned by Jim Tetlow) in the CD insert of "Catalyst". Simply put, the roots of Endgame go way back to our early works as Alto Stratus and ZBB (both with CD reissues on Ultimate Transmissions) in the early to mid 1980's. As dabblers in weird sonic exploration: Alan (myself) & Steve Freeman released a wealth of cassettes on the Auricle label (1982-1990). I first worked together with Jim Tetlow when he joined Shapeshifter in 1998. When (band leader) Maureen Anderson decided she wanted Shapeshifter to be more commercial, I left, and then Jim did shortly after. I had the idea of establishing an improvising group, to which other musicians expressed an interest but nothing came of it. Only Jim was enthusiastic at the idea, telling me he'd like to try working together with just Steve and myself.
    Steve had also thought of this idea, he thought of the name too: Endgame (an ideal nom-de-plume for a free improvising trio). My idea was "Minus Infinity" which became the title of one of our first pieces. There's no deep meaning to the name Endgame, after all it's not just the closing moves of a chess game, but also the title of many a drama, an "X Files" episode incidentally (an influence), but nothing to do with Samuel Beckett, nor the Highlander film (which came later). "Endgame" just because we play until...
    Established in July 1999, we pretty much established the no rules, no bounds, no concept idea from the start. Although I used the blurb: Endgame play Kosmische Krautrock, in the spirit of the most "out-there" Pink Floyd or primordial Tangerine Dream onto pure musique-concrete electroacoustic music, that has such restraint against awesome power that it defies any easy description but "Wow - sehr kosmische!" to help promote us, really Endgame can be anything from the most sedate new-age through to wild over-the-top Krautrock or even towards Nurse With wound.
    What we try to achieve in our regular 45 minute sessions is a sort of psychic musical connection. In our later days with Shapeshifter Jim and I acted as the foils for some tripped-out jams now documented in the Shapeshifter "Time Capsule" set. We had a type of link that is rare, and with Steve this expanded to a communication that can result in Endgame becoming a collective musical consciousness. That's what we often try to aim for, a balance between reaction and co-ordination, of move and counter move. Thus, despite often being made up totally on the spot, a 46 minute work can sound as though it was carefully composed!

The music...

As Endgame music is instantaneous invention, it's hard to say where its roots and inspiration are. Initially, I know that what I foresaw was a music that stepped on from German cosmic music in the manner of Lightwave, but with the serious avant-garde feel of Morphogenesis. I think we have often achieved that, though occasionally I'll be totally perplexed at how we came up with something that bears no resemblance to anything else I've heard. But, there again, some of you may notice the early Tangerine Dream cosmic edges to "A Strange Time for Angels", the Kluster meets Stockhausen of "Place Your Bets", the mystic ethnic trance of "Evaporating Demons from the Mind's Eye" taking us to experimental Holger Czukay territory. I'm still yet to fathom out how we spontaneously created such an opus as "Six Pathways Through the Dark" it's such a mind-boggling trip! But that's the Endgame!

The experience...

Endgame could boast as being the most exciting band from Leicester since Volcano The Bear! Well, I would say that as a member of the band, wouldn't I? Endgame are always evolving sonically, especially with the diverse range of musics that make up our live concerts. Ever more so, we are exploring intuitively a broad palette of experimental, electroacoustic and synthesizer/cosmic musics, always furthering our expression and range with new techniques, instruments and gadgets.
    The releases documented on this web site amount to the choice works from our archive to date. It's an ongoing process, with reassessment and evaluation a regular listening pass-time. Now beyond session 150, the wealth of music to treat you with is vast. Endgame know no bounds, except for our own sensibilities or what we are capable of. It's all exploration and new invention. Endgame could be described as ...venturing from Lightwave meets Conrad Schnitzler with Stockhausen at the mixing desk territory onto pure musique-concrete/electroacoustic music,... crossing the realms of Morphogenesis through to Taj Mahal Travellers, the "sound pools" of Agitation Free, and the totally unclassifiable. The industrial sound of "Metabolism" will indeed surprise many, as with the obvious Krautrock dedication "A Faustian Farmyard". There are also the eclectic collections like "Ich Bin Schizophrene", "Alles Über Schizophrene?" and "Surrealism Is A State Of Mind" which showcase influences from Dada, Futurism and the Surreal, and thus could be compared to Nurse With Wound. Largely though, Endgame focus on vast sonic tapestries, invented by pure improvisation, that sizzle the senses and dilate perceptions in time and space.

The Live game...

There are no rules to the Endgame, and when live in concert the tension rides the edge. At some gigs you are likely to catch solo performances by each member, an Alto Stratus set, and even guest soloists (if you're lucky), all in a great value (sometimes 3 hours) concert. Such is the nature of Endgame that every performance is a totally new creation. So, if you miss it - you may never catch it again! Also, anyone out there wanting to jam, get in touch, and let us know what you'd like to do! Endgame are nowadays "in limbo" as Jim's time is mostly taken up with his family and other projects. But, given the opportunity, Endgame still do play live occasionally. To discuss any gig plans contact Alan Freeman.

Attention, record labels, if you publish music in the realms between the new-age and the avant-garde, we may have the album you're wanting to release already recorded. If you are interested, tell us what you are after and we'll share files or CDR demo of rough unmixed extracts. Most unreleased Endgame is noted with descriptions in the Studio sessions log (see link below), and there are also a few unpublished live recordings detailed in the Live concerts log.

More information: Studio sessions log  Live concerts log  live at The Musician

discography...

STRETCHED ACROSS THE SEA - MC Auricle AMC 046 (2000), 2xCDR Auricle AMCDR-LTD 046 (2012)
CATALYST - 2CD Ultimate Transmissions UTCD 004/5 (2000)
EARLY STASIS - MC Auricle AMC 047 (2001), 2xCDR Auricle AMCDR-LTD 047 (2010)
AVATAR - 2CD Ultimate Transmissions UTCD 006/7 (2001)
SURREAL ETHEREAL - CDR Auricle AMCDR 004 (2001)
TREPPENHAUS - MC Auricle AMC 048 (2001), 2xCDR Auricle AMCDR-LTD 048 (2010)
LIVE, VOL. 1 - CDR Auricle AMEGL1 (2001)
FRAGILE - CDR Auricle AMCDR 012 (2001)
TROUBLED - CDR Auricle AMCDR 013 (2001)
WALKABOUT - CDR Auricle AMCDR 014 (2001)
LIVE, VOL. II - CDR Auricle AMEGL2 (2001)
LIVE, VOL. III - CDR Auricle AMEGL3 (2001)
LIVE, VOL. IV - CDR Auricle AMEGL4 (2001)
LIVE, VOL. V - CDR Auricle AMEGL5 (2001)
TUNDRA - 2CD Ultimate Transmissions UTCD 009/10 (2001)
CRYPTIC TRIPTYCH - CDR Auricle AMCDR 016 (2002)
SLIDEWAYS - CDR Auricle AMCDR 017 (2002)
PROTOPLASM - CDR Auricle AMEGD1 (2002)
LIVE, VOL. VI - CDR Auricle AMEGL6 (2002)
LIVE, VOL. VII - CDR Auricle AMEGL7 (2002)
LIVE, VOL. VIII - CDR Auricle AMEGL8 (2002)
LIVE, VOL. IX - CDR Auricle AMEGL9 (2002)
ICH BIN SCHIZOPHRENE - CDR Auricle AMCDR 022 (2002)
CYTOPLASM - CDR Auricle AMEGD2 (2002)
ECTOPLASM - CDR Auricle AMEGD3 (2002)
METABOLISM - CDR Auricle AMCDR 025 (2002)
ENDOPLASM - CDR Auricle AMEGD4 (2003)
TOXIC - DO NOT OPEN! - CDR Auricle AMCDR 030 (2003)
BIOPLASM - CDR Auricle AMEGD5 (2003)
NUCLEOPLASM - CDR Auricle AMEGD6 (2003)
ENDANGERED SPECIES - CDR Auricle AMCDR 032 (2003)
ENGAGING PROVIDENCE - CDR Auricle AMCDR 033 (2003)
PARADOXE - CDR Auricle AMCDR 036 (2003)
EUPHORIA - CDR Auricle AMCDR 039 (2003)
CUPOLA - CDR Auricle AMCDR 040 (2003)
SHIPWRECKED - CDR Auricle AMCDR 043 (2004)
NUCLI - CDR Auricle AMCDR 046 (2004)
H
2SO4 - CDR Auricle AMCDR 047 (2004)
FLUXION - CDR Auricle AMCDR 050 (2004)
LIVE, VOL. X - CDR Auricle AMEGL10 (2004)
MP3 DISC - CDR Auricle AMP3 CDR 001 (2004)
HEXED - CDR Auricle AMCDR 058 (2005)
NATTMARA - CDR Auricle AMCDR 060 (2005)
MAROONED - CDR Auricle AMCDR 062 (2005)
CAGE - CDR Auricle AMCDR 063 (2005)
A WITNESS TO MADNESS - CDR Auricle AMCDR 066 (2005)
UNDERWORLD - CDR Auricle AMCDR 067 (2005)
B C N U - CDR Auricle AMCDR 070 (2005)
C - CDR Auricle AMCDR 071 (2005)
ALLES ÜBER SCHIZOPHRENE? - 2xCDR Auricle AMCDR 072/73 (2005)
PETRI PERPLEX (1999) - CDR Auricle AMCDR 080 (2006)
A FAUSTIAN FARMYARD (1999) - CDR Auricle AMCDR 081 (2006)
HORIZONS - CDR Auricle AMCDR 084 (2006)
LIVE, VOL. XI - CDR Auricle AMEGL 11 (2006)
OBVIOUS - CDR Auricle AMCDR 086 (2006)
SCHATTEN - Auricle AMCDR 088 (2006)
SURREALISM IS A STATE OF MIND - 2xCDR Auricle AMCDR 094/95 (2007)
SPACED - CDR Auricle AMCDR 099 (2007)
KHIMAIRA (2000) - 2xCDR Auricle AMCDR 108/109 (2007)
ELEMENTAL TRAVELLER - CDR Auricle AMCDR 110 (2007)
OCULAR - CDR Auricle AMCDR 111 (2007)
LIVE @ BAMBU - 2xCDR Auricle AMCDR 113/114 (2007)
A MIND UNFOLDING - DVD-R Auricle AMDVD 004 (2007)
DARK MATTER - DVD-R Auricle AMDVD 005 (2007)
COBWEBS - CDR Auricle AMCDR 125 (2007)
MEMENTO - CDR Auricle AMCDR 135 (2008)
LIVE DVD OFFICIAL BOOTLEG - DVD-R Auricle AMDVD OB1 (2008)
GRAVITY WELL - CDR Auricle AMCDR 139 (2008)
NO RANDOM SPLICE - CDR Auricle AMCDR 140 (2009)
THINGAMAJIG - CDR Auricle AMCDR 142 (2009)
TEMPORAL CEMENT - CDR Auricle AMCDR 144 (2009)
SOMNAMBULIST - CDR Auricle AMCDR 147 (2009)
ABSTRACTION - CDR Auricle AMCDR 149 (2009)
HORSELENGTH: LIVE AT THE HORSE HOSPITAL - DVD-R Auricle AMDVD 009 (2009)
JUST CURIOUS - 2xCDR Auricle AMCDR 154/155 (2009)
AMPLOS - CDR Auricle AMCDR 158 (2010)
INSTINCT - CDR Auricle AMCDR 159 (2010)
VAPOURS - CDR Auricle AMCDR 160 (2010)
ENIGMA - CDR Auricle AMCDR 161 (2010)
UNDER CONSTRUCTION - CDR Auricle AMCDR 162 (2010)
PHOENIX - CDR Auricle AMCDR 164 (2010)
KONTAKTE: SEVEN FRAGMENTS (2003) Auricle AMDL 002 (2010)
SENTINEL - 2xCDR Auricle AMCDR 165/6 (2010)
TACTILE - CDR Auricle AMCDR 170 (2011)
BEYOND THE RIM - 2xCDR Auricle AMCDR 172/3 (2011)
FUNGUS - CDR Auricle AMCDR 175 (2011)
REMOTE VIEWING - CDR Auricle AMCDR 176 (2011)
TREMORS - CDR Auricle AMCDR 187 (2012)
LIVE AT THE PAV 18-12-2008 - CDR Auricle AMEGL 16 (2012)
LIVE SPRING 2009 - CDR Auricle AMEGL 17 (2012)
LIVE SUMMER 2009 - CDR Auricle AMEGL 18 (2013)
WHICH WAY ARE WE GOING TODAY? - CDR Auricle AMCDR 198 (2013)
KALEIDOSCOPE - DL Auricle (sampler) (2014)
ELECTROACOUSTICS (2006) - 2xCDR Auricle AMCDR 287/288 (2018)
LIQUID TIME - CDR Auricle AMCDR 302 (2019)

plus: Live series and Plasm series of special releases.

original Endgame tracks on other releases...
 BIJOUTERIE - CDR Auricle AMCDR 024 (2003) track: Inevitable Retension
 PONDER THIS... - CD Submergence SUB 5007 (2003) track: Ascension
 ¿DRONSZ? - CDR Auricle AMCDR 038 (2004) track: Devil Station
 AURICLE 2005 SAMPLER - CDR Auricle AMSCDR 013 (2006) features 8 remixed tracks
 IMPROMPTU ELECTRONIC - LIVE @ BAMBU - 2xCDR Auricle AMCDR 115/116 (2007) track: Acoustic CD Trio

Endgame also feature on 6 Quadelectronic documents downloads: QE5, QE14, QE22, QE45, QE59, QE75

Endgame reviews and articles in Audion - #42/5, #44/15, #45/30, #46/28, #49/3-5, #51/3, #52/30, #53/5-8+34, #54/13+15+31, #55/13-16, #56/13-17

Endgame on radio...
"Tachyon live 2000 (introduction)" in Clive Graham's "Sound Poets Exposed" show, Resonance FM, 11 December 2005
track "?" in Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone, BBC Radio 6 Music (information lost)
Horselength concert extract in William English's "Wavelength" show on Resonance FM (information lost)

 

web site designed and managed by Alan Freeman © 2000-2019 Ultima Thule, Leicester, UK   -   constantly work in progress, advice welcome, please report broken links   -   E&OE