Bringing the industrial tendencies of Surgeon and the Raster-Noton family to Bristol’s percolating dubstep scene, Emptyset have helped usher in a more clinical and distorted aesthetic into the ever-widening dubstep lexicon. To those in the know, it should come as no surprise that at the duo’s core stands James Ginzburg, an American-born UK transplant at the center of Bristol’s highly regarded Multiverse network of labels. Variously recording as 30Hz, Ginz, The Body Snatchers, and P Dutty, Ginzburg is also the founder of the Vertical Sound label and the co-founder (along with Pinch) of the internationally renowned Tectonic imprint. In Emptyset, Ginzburg and production partner Paul Purgas concoct a riveting crunch of distortion and bass that’s equal parts Teutonic avant-garde and Southwest English street beats, delivering a final package that recalls two-step’s more paranoid and unnerving elements.
Visuals produced by Emptyset in partnership with designers Clayton Welham and Sam Williams
Red Bull Music Academy Stage [SAT] Society for Arts and Technology 01/06/2013
United by a love of sine waves and white noise, a slew of releases from curator, Paul Purgas and Multiverse Records impresario, James Ginzburg, were the first indicators of the Emptyset ethos. As well as a dozen EPs released on various labels, the duo has amassed 3 albums: Emptyset (2009), Demiurge (2011) and Medium (2012). Across them all, Emptyset take pleasure in dismantling sound and genre, an approach that has earned them a release through Raster-noton. While their eponymous debut was seen as an avant-garde dubstep reduction, Demiurge pushed into avant-techno abstraction, and their latest, Medium, revels in eerie noise. Recorded in an abandoned Gloucestershire manor, Medium makes use of the physical space and its architecture, combining with both musicians’ analog instruments to concoct an atmospheric soundscape rife with field energy and sinister echoes. After a memorable stop during the A/Visions program in 2011, Emptyset returns with a big-room Metropolis performance featuring visual design by Clayton Welham, who has produced videos and films with them, including one for the Tate. Reactive to audio, he builds their visual environment using live video, transmission, feedback and induction coils.