Emptyset: Recur (CD, Raster-Noton, November 2013)

You have to admire Emptyset’s dedication to an ideal. That ideal is making big, chunky music almost entirely formed from clanking and buzzing noises. There are no beats, but the sounds are heavily rhythmical. There are virtually no notes at an audible frequency, but the bassy whirrs are forced through a tortuous tangle of filters there are often note-like things squealing out in the harmonics. It’s pretty much impossible not to use some kind of metallic metaphor to describe this, it’s industrial music in the most literal sense. It’s impressive, powerful stuff — but I have to say it’s a bit of a one-trick pony, the same rhythms and sounds keep (if you’ll pardon the pun) recurring, and by the end I find myself a little jaded. Maybe I’m overthinking it, maybe the idea is to lie back and blast this out at the kind of volume that obliterates critical thought… or maybe, just maybe, they didn’t quite have an album’s worth of material here. Good, but not quite great.

I bought this from Juno. They call it Industrial / Drone / Noise.

Leave a Reply