Endurance – ‘City of Signals’

Posted by on January 4, 2017


The quiet beauty and sheer stillness of abandoned cities must be breathtaking. To take in the crumbling facades, buckled asphalt, and low-hanging wires through which no current flows can only be a humbling experience. But what if a depopulated city sprang back to life? What if the traffic signals began to function, the sprinkler systems doused the cracked driveways with musty water, and the streetlights came on at night? Canadian ex-pat Joshua Stefane (aka Endurance, currently residing in Japan) posits this scenario with his short story and the accompanying soundtrack City of Signals.

In the empty metropolis, lonely birds sing along to the hum of the high tension lines, their tuneful chirps drifting away on the wind, unappreciated by human ears. Stefane puts himself in the center of such a scenario, droning along with an array of synthesizers, pumping out melodies that are as ethereal as the residual memories of the people who once called the city home. His elongated notes unfold quietly, struggling to be heard above radio static, the sequences of synthetic tone bouncing aimlessly around empty rooms. The City of Signals is a busy one; even though there are no homo sapiens to be found, Stefane has created his own brand of intelligent life. Thriving among the flora and fauna are artificial electronic “spirits” emanating their mysterious signals without a hope of response.

To experience the City of Signals, you must act quickly, as this cassette is ultra-limited: there are only 25 copies available from Illuminated Paths, and 30 available directly from Stefane himself.