EMPTYSET – Borders

Album: Borders

Artist: Emptset

Label: Thrill Jockey

Release Date: January 27, 2017



The Upshot: In space, only this interstellar British outfit can hear you scream.


Emptyset is the London duo of Paul Purgas and James Ginzburg. On Borders, they have turned in a record that just simply destroys everything in its path. This is music that’s been stripped and processed and then stripped again, dipped in acid, and then charged with electricity. I can hear elements of Einsturzende Neubauten, Aphex Twin as well as Hair and Skin Trading Company’s Psychedelische Musique record percolating through a few of the tracks.

The band bombards you with a mélange of processed sounds that whipsaw around striking everything in their path. Here, resistance truly is futile. Some of the songs pulse with a nocturnal glow. The electrical emanations beckon us towards something quite terrifying. I imagine the vast darkness of space when I listen to this record: If the song “Body” is our loss of contact with earth, then “Descent” is our interaction with an alien being; “Sight” is our awakening to the pulse of interstellar space; “Ground” is our body being ripped apart; and “Dissolve” is our emergence from a LQG black hole.

Regardless of the narrative you attribute to the running order of an album after listening to this record, I felt as if I had genuinely experienced something groundbreaking, elemental, and thoroughly thought-provoking.

DOWNLOAD: “Ascent,” “Axis,” “Ground,” “Dissolve”

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