Emptyset are Paul Purgas and James Ginzburg. The latter is the founder of Bristol based label collective Multiverse whose excellent Dark Matter compilation – reviewed here – brought together a series of post-dubstep/future bass ventures. Here Ginzburg seems to be attempting to neuter and enfeeble the current move to make dubstep chart friendly through an antidote of extremes. Paul Purgas, from what I can garner, was once director of the Arnolfini in Bristol, a sound artist of some repute and apparently an expert in Dr Dee. So listen up Mr. Albarn – although I think I’ve said enough on *that* issue by now.
Consequently, this is not for the fainthearted or those in search of anything remotely resembling songs or melodies or tunes. Instead Emptyset’s Demiurge is all about the boundaries of what you can do with bass. First track ‘Departure’ consists of a build of static that is released by a colossal bass note that is as forbidding as it is huge and skull shaking. ‘Void’ and ‘Plane’ use more unforgiving interference as rhythm and the hammer drill of ‘Function’ reveals the pair tweaking the absolute hell out of whatever it is they are using. Throughout, the now infamous wobble of dubstep is taken to an intimidating dimension so far beyond the dance floor it hardly seems worth mentioning it. In fact, using the descriptor dubstep here is something of a misnomer considering the experimentalism on show.
Demiurge is equally cerebral and visceral, demanding and brilliant. It’s abstract and in no way an easy listen. But you like a challenge don’t you? Purchase.