Boomkat Product Review:
Ex Nihilo is the crushing new album from arch experimentalist Bruce Gilbert (Wire), forming his first album in six years and demonstrating a super rare example of an artist who only gets more vital and far-out with age. If the idea of slipping into an irretrievable K-Hole lights up your mind, prepare to take a swan dive into this one.
Following from Ab Ovo  and the head-swallowing Oblivio Agitatum , the nomenclature of Gilbert’s latest signifies another uncommonly strong batch from one of the UK’s most persistent electronic boundary pushers. With the last five years or more spent upkeeping his legacy via various reissues of foundational work with Wire and Dome, this album drills right down to Gilbert in the here and now, portraying a brilliantly uncompromising, belligerent artist of a kind that appears unfortunately absent in so many other echelons of contemporary electronic music.
Like an instrumental, electronic music-embracing Scott Walker, Bruce Gilbert’s experience feeds into the peerless visions of Ex Nihilio, lending the innate confidence to express himself in such brilliantly discordant terms as the opener Undertow, and realise the magick and attraction of such bittersweet tones in Negative Mass, and it’s surely only from such experience of the late 20th century avant garde that majestic structures like the breathtaking hyaline spires of Hymn can arise.
But for all those head-turning moments, the inverse, quieter parts are just as important to Gilbert’s sound, as pieces such as HA8, or the smeared timbral resonance of his Alien-like Change And Not, and the spatially-searching pulse of In Memory Of MV all hold the balance in check, making this set another ideal Gilbert gesamtkunstwerk for the ages.