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emptyset - Demiurge
Multiverse - the constellation of forward-thinking Bristol labels that also includes Tectonic, Kapsize and Caravan - reactivates its seminal Subtext imprint (best known for those mind-melting early Vex'd singles) for a daring new LP from Emptyset. A collaboration between Mutiverse boss James 'Ginz' Ginzburg and Paul Purgas, Demiurge is the second album by Emptyset, and finds them reducing their production process down to a singular signal chain channelled into a modulated analogue hardware line (or so we're told). The results are somewhere between drone, techno, noise, power electronics and the very outer limits of dubstep: in other words, audio porn for the more serious soundboys and girls among you. The duo's reliance on stomach-aching subs and ear-grazing blasts of static make clear their love of, and debt to, the work of Mika Vainio and Pan Sonic, and 'Void' reminds us of last year's blink-and-you-missed it Suum Cuique record: electronic music with real physical presence. 'Point' and 'Function' wrestle a kind of juddering techno groove out of jagged comper shrapnel, reminding us of the Raster-Noton bods like Byetone, Ikeda and Alva Noto at their most brutal and direct. 'Periphery' conjures the groaning, haunted interiors of Alien and Event Horizon, while the mid-paced warfunk of 'Tangent' sounds like it could raze Bristol to the ground if played out on a rig that's up to it, and 'Monad' is an ear-walloping exercise in loop/edit delirium, coming over like Errorsmith in the depths of a black depression. The message is clear: in space, no one can hear you scream.