Emptyset – Recur (2013)


Emptyset - Recur (2013) coverOver the last six years, Emptyset have evolved from a minimal techno act into pioneers of a sound somewhere between techno, dubstep and noise-based sound design. Paul Purgas and James Ginzburg have most recently been exploring the impact of unusual acoustic environments on their sound, whether a Cotswolds mansion (on Medium) or abandoned nuclear power stations (on Material). Recur, their fourth album and first for Raster-Noton, is more concerned with the limits of processing than external spaces. As the title suggests, repetition is an important part of these tracks. The general structure sees one pattern repeated with small variations: adding reverb, finding new resonance or adding another blast of noise. “Fragment” has one base pattern of rhythmic noise gradually growing more intense and topping out after three minutes. “Order” repeats the trick over twice the length. The use of side-chain compression dominates many tracks, especially “Instant.” It’s a technique as over-used as any in modern dance music but, even at slow tempos, Emptyset use it in pursuit of barely-restrained aggression rather than softened grooves…residentadvisor

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