♫♪  Emptyset - Borders


Emptyset have a thing for capturing physical space. Their latest album, Borders, opens with a stead, plodding pulse on “Body.” Successive tracks add successive layers of rhythm – the rule is a “live” performance, so the throb and crash of homemade drums sounds within reach of human forearms. James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas use a custom assembled percussion kit as well as a monolithic zither-ish instrument, which is plucked like a coyote plucks a rooster. The sound is very physical, and is meant to evolve with the musicians as they perform it, tiring from the exertion, or getting juiced on the powers of signal compression and analogue distortion. Dark, invisible machinery is at work throughout the album.

They used to collaborate with buildings, engineering albums around specific architectural acoustics. Now, the emphasis is in exploring “non-western” musical settings, which inspired their choice in instrumentation. Borders will also be the first album by the duo with their new label, Thrill Jockey, having released past results of their highly process-focused sound on Rastor-Noton. Transitioning from “Across” into “Speak,” the albums lurches from a gentle, beachside trot into a gallop, illustrating the nuance in forceful gestures. The string on “Retrieve” chugs along with more pop than a skateboard edit. For a band that defines their sound through heavy constraints, Emptyset always manages to produce something exciting and new.

Stream Borders below from Emptyset’s bandcamp. It is also available on all streaming platforms, and a physical copy of the album can be purchased from Thrill Jockey.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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