Junk Son‘s Beginning Ending Pretending “is at its heart a nocturnal beast” says Dara Higgins
Junk Son is the work of London based youngfella and producer John Dunk, and Beginning Ending Pretending is his first full length effort on the 37 Adventures label. Having studied composition at London’s Goldsmith College which boasts Blur as alumni, you’d expect his layered and textured homemade electronica to at least carry a tune, and the lad doesn’t disappoint.
On first listen it seems as if this record is claustrophobic and dingy, dark around the edges, capturing the gloom and secretiveness of a late night recording session when your neighbours are trying to get some kip, but on repeated listens it opens up. Vocals are hushed and diffident throughout the first half the record, but there’s great clarity in the arrangements. Opener Crawl’s clever beats allows the singing to weave around the song’s core. Pace by Pace’s languid wash of saxophones drifts by without much happening, but from there we’re into the sinewy centre of the album. The tense pop line of Fool changes up the vocal responsibilities and delivers with its chorus. True continues in this vein, a dark rumble of bass kicking it up a notch. By Games it’s all slowed down again. Space is king here, until the layers of synths start building the song up.
The record switches between a near somnambulistic pace and unhurried. Nothing is rushed. The words are delivered with an insouciance that borders on disdain. It works better when it’s that little bit quicker, and throughout there’s flourishes of percussion and guitar work that flit about in the background. Occasionally the languid pacing comes across as a lack of engagement; we’re asking to be battered by a bit of immediacy here and there, but Beginning Ending Pretending is at its heart a nocturnal beast, furtive and fugacious. Best listen when you’re alone. In the dark.