Bristol has become the foggiest part of British electronica. Protected by a magnetic field that separates it from the rest of Albion, the city has seen its youngsters picking up the musical crumbs of different underground scenes and creating a local sound, which, though diversified in different tonalities, has three elements in common: darkness, coldness and cannabis. The galactic corporation Multiverse has been taking care of the young guns in recent times, fighting a guerrilla war using platforms such as Tectonic, Kapsize and Caravan for trenches. Now, the collective revives the Subtext label (where Vex’d released his earliest recordings) in order to put Emptyset’s second LP out there. So Multiverse head honcho James Ginzburg (alias Ginz) joins Paul Purgas to meticulously dissect the leftovers of dubstep and techno with a scalpel, a dagger blessed by Mika Vainio and a tunnelling scanner microscope.
Navigating the turbulent waters their own eponymous debut left behind, the two producers drench the Bass Bible in liquid nitrogen and manipulate its DNA with injections of drone, techno-dub and industrial experimentation. It’s a rugged, uneasy, hammering and tense album: tracks like “Sphere” (metallic thumping, extreme basslines, torrents of noisy hysteria) give us a good image of the roughness of the beast. “Void” and, most of all, the almost unbearable “Return” show the most extreme and aberrant side of the duo: white noise, obsessive repetition, a deafening centrifuge going at the speed of light.
As if there weren’t enough punishment contained in their most radical tracks, Eptyset’s dark craftsmanship dazzles when the sub-bass frequencies come in and the couple makes a minimalist version of the most isolationist factors of bass: glaciation in the void, absolute zero. While on “Point” they make your fillings tremble with digital dinosaur beats, “Plane” Ginz and Purgas reach an irrespirable level of paroxysm, vomiting mortal discharges of cannibal basses on the listener that pierce the eardrum like burning needles. It’s scary, seriously. “Demiruge” is a threatening monster reduced to its smallest expression, a deformed dragon that spits out flashes of bass and liquifies your brain, a titan twisting and turning in his sleep and waking up in deep space. You need this music, but never when you’re in company. “Demiurge” says it loud and clear: solitude, in these times, is a necessary evil.