Caretaker - Everywhere At The End Of Time, Stage Two LP
The second of six LPs issued under the title Everywhere At The End of Time, cataloguing The Caretaker's fictional first person account of life with early onset dementia. This second stage takes a more wistful tack as our protagonist gradually realizes that all is not well and begins to rummage deeper into the recesses of his mind, masking emotions of grief, loss, fear and uncertainty.
As The Caretaker's short term memory functions begin to more rapidly erode, the loop-based punctuation of the previous installment begins to subtly unravel, leading his mind to drift off and ponder upon fuller segments of tea dance strings and horns which appear uncannily more inviting, seductive, and now almost even more tangible than the abbreviated reels of earlier editions. Loop points wilt away in autumnal grays and russet rustles as new information becomes more difficult to process, making it more preferable for The Caretaker to back pedal down memory lane toward an opaque smudge of half-forgotten/remembered spaces, places and un/familiar faces which provide more comfort and clarity than the world around him.
The tracklist spells this transitional flux in poetic terms, wending from the fading beauty of "A Losing Battle Is Raging" to the exquisitely tense yet plasmic strings in "Glimpses of Hope in Trying Times" and the lilting resolution of "Surrendering to Despair," before "Still Feel As Though I Am Me" basks in glowing embers that turn to a "Quiet Dusk Coming Early," and the waltzing bliss of "Last Moments of Pure Recall" leads to the unshakeable pangs of sadness that light up "The Way Ahead Feels Lonely" like short-circuiting synapses. It feels strange to recommend undergoing this experience, albeit in such an impressionistic and detached manner, and yet it feels like a conversely enlightening one for these strange, disingenuous and unpredictable end times that we inhabit right now.