Take a trip through the ruins of an abandoned nightclub in the bowels of a possessed, Event Horizon-esque spaceship, haunted by “Quake II RTX dead marine ghosts”.
Surrender, the debut album from Precious Metals boss and Bala Club co-founder Endgame, is a deeply personal affair. Not only is it the first project on which the producer’s vocals are featured, front and centre, but themes of loss, trauma and finding meaning in despair make for a collection of tracks that flicker from beauty to brutality. “I just wanna exist,” breathes a demonic voice in the opening seconds of one of the album’s centrepieces, ‘Abyss’, an industrial dancehall crush injected with freezing cold melancholy pop lyricism.
For the suitably nightmarish visual Berlin-based duo Declino plunge Endgame into the ruins of an abandoned nightclub in the bowels of a possessed, Event Horizon-esque spaceship, haunted by what they describe as “Quake II RTX dead marine ghosts”. It’s the perfect place for Endgame to lean in to his cyber-goth proclivities, as he sweetly sings: “ghost in the shell / come let’s move we’re in the depths of hell.” As his shadowy avatar glitches in and out of existence, dark chains swing in time with the beat. “Taking influence from films like Event Horizon, Hellraiser and games like Doom, and Quake, the protagonist drifts through a liminal space, trapped in a cavernous empty shell,” explains Endgame. “Seeing parallels between the club and the layout of a game, the character is a faceless, defenceless and vulnerable avatar, an allegory of inner self. The song is a lament about being imprisoned in your thoughts, and seeking liberation. I’m interested in the duality between physical confines and mental freedom.”
“When beginning the making of the video I was playing a lot of Quake II RTX, the recent release that allows to play the original game but with modern Nvidia graphics,” explains GVN908, one half of Declino. “The nice thing is that in this version you can unlock the camera and move it freely, seeing across walls and getting very weird angles where you can notice the empty spaces left by the game developers. This weird feeling of emptiness was very present in Endgame’s track and generally it felt like it permeated every aspect of our life during this pandemic. So we decided to work with it, we called this style of generating 3D assets: no-clip aesthetic. We fed all the assets to an AI that built a broken world with a lot of see through walls and dysfunctional architectures. We were trying to imagine what would Quake look like if it was set after the story is finished and everyone is dead? How would a movie like Event Horizon look, if all that is left is an empty spaceship? What does a club turn into, when everyone’s missing, and the dance floor’s silent?”
He continues: “I think it’s also important that we see this first video as a trailer, a sort of play through, of a future fully functional game. Last year hit hard the independent and underground music scene and it’s a moment where we have to rethink how music video releases function and game-engines offers a lot of possibilities to imagine these new way.”
‘Abyss’ is taken from Surrender, which is out now on Precious Metals. For more information about Endgame, follow him on Instagram, tune into his Precious Metals NTS show and check out the Precious Metals Bandcamp.