Listen to an ominous beautifully austere new Emptyset work


‘Ember’ is a new work of austere experimental sonics from from Bristol duo Emptyset. It comes from the forthcoming Ash, which James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas developed over the last few years. As always its a challenging work, with stark muscular electrics, staticy machine gun rhythms and washes of truncated digitalia. It’s a relentless and ominous piece that really feels like its tearing at the fabric of what electronic music can be. If you can’t tell we like it a lot.

This is what they have to say about it:

“The work draws on the project’s roots in structural percussion and physical sonics, employing spatialised recording techniques and an array of analogue hardware,evoking the transformative and sculptural properties of sound.”

We actually dug out an (unpublished) chat with Emptyset from a few years ago where we asked James Ginzburg where the name Emptyset originally came from? “I think I first encountered “emptyset’s in a calculus class in high school and I found it a fascinating idea,” he told us. “I wanted to do a project somehow with that as a heading. I guess when I was thinking about these things I was very interested in physics and more abstract mathematical ideas. But it sat on the shelf until Paul and I started working on material, we were trying to find a name to encompass what we were doing at that point and Paul warmed to it very quickly.”

You can check out our reviews of 2013’s Recur here, 2011’s Demiurge here, and 2012’s Demiurge Variations here.

The duo are returning for a live a/v performance at London’s Village Underground on the 5th of November – their first show in London for a decade. You can find details here.

Ash will be released via Subtext Recordings on the 20th of October. You can find it here.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.