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emptyset - Medium
Ambitious set from Bristol's foremost avant-techno operators Emptyset, for which they wrenched themselves out of their urban studio bunker and into Woodchester Mansion in Gloucestershire. This imposing, rurally-set building is an incomplete remnant of the Gothic revival, and there can be no doubt that it brings a grand, ghostly resonance to Emptyset's rumbling sonic investigations. Setting up their analogue gear on-site, the duo proceeded to subject the mansion's irregular spaces to extremes of bass and feedback, treating it not just as an immense echo chamber, but almost a third member, one capable of inscribing its unique architecture onto the foreign sine waves sent its way. The resulting work is an inspired communion of sound and architecture; it feels like an exploration of both physical and psychic space, possessed of energies and implications that defy easy explanation and so take on an occult charge. The project was supported by the Woodchester Mansion Trust, and renowned Bristol engineer Mat Sampson managed the vast array of vintage microphones and preamps distributed about the building, as well as the central monophonic sound system. The finished release is comprised of five long pieces, presented on both CD and limited vinyl 12" with a special poster of analogue-processed imagery by Clayton Welham and Sam Williams. Meditations on bass weight rarely come this, er, weighty, and we'd call it essential listening for fans of Pan Sonic, Roly Porter, Raime, Sunn 0))) and Monolake.