With a new Emptyset album just released on Raster-Noton, Paul Purgas engages in a discussion with James Manning on five records that hold personal resonance.
Ron Morelli, LB Dub Corp, Pearson Sound, Vester Koza and Terrence Dixon headed up a week of musically challenging releases.
Ahead of Unsound’s Krakow event, we dispatched Josh Hall to take in the festival’s London debut which was spread across venues in the capital on the final weekend of September.
The experimental duo will release their third album on the German label next month.
In 1982 Juan Atkins and Rick Davis as Cybrotron produced what’s credited as the first real electro track: “Clear”. In the same year a burgeoning industrial and experimental-noise band, Nocturnal Emissions, were producing something equally antecedent – yet musically unkempt in comparison. The Accumulator EP was first conceived a lifetime ago – 31 years to be exact – and it’s since found a way into the hands of Paul Purgas – one half of Emptyset – and his label We Can Elude Control. Purgas’ take on the release comes as a three-track EP, with an additional 23 minute live recording of Nocturnal Emissions playing the Brixton Ritzy on June 9th, 1983.
Electronic music is meant to provide a release from the real world, but Medium, the latest missive by UK producer Emptyset, will bring anyone who hears it crashing back to the earth. There’s a desperate malevolence at play on this work, a sonic accompaniment to the end-of-days desolation so vividly narrated on Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. The key difference however, is that while that novel provided no alternatives and seemed to revel in its nihilistic approach, this album offers an escape from the drab sameness and conservatism inherent in modern day techno.