Left field duo VOIDS have been creating their lush and brooding melodies since 2012. Their music incorporates effected vocals, harmonious bass loops and tripped-out beats to build layers of emotive textures .
VOIDS was born after the pair who had been writing and jamming together in an unofficial manner were asked to provide music for an event at the Galway town hall theatre. They continued to develop their own sound in the following year, doing live shows in Dublin and Galway before meeting Lewis James, an Irish producer based in London who has worked with Om Unit and Foreign Beggars and who came on board to help produce their debut EP, Begin.
Of course everyone claims their music is unique. What sets VOIDS apart from the rest in staking this claim is that their primary instrument and writing tool is the bass guitar. Andrew feeds it through effects and loops to create the various layers of sound that make up VOIDS’ music. The result is sensuous and otherworldly, a musical experience channeled through frequencies.
The inspiration for this unique approach came from Jaco Pastorius and Squarepusher. “Harmonics are fundamental in my writing process with bass, they open up a whole range of higher octaves that aren’t normally accessible. And they sound particularly sweet on bass too,” Andrew explains. The process of layering bass created sounds is achieved with a loop pedal which Andrew has been using for years to help him explore the potentials of his chosen instrument. From percussion to harmonics, volume swells to bass lines, he was able to master the bass as a versatile instrument in a way few young artists manage.
Alison’s vocals form the other foundational block of VOIDS music, and gives it a human quality that reaches across the void of frequencies to give listeners something familiar to latch onto before making the jump. Taking inspiration from Bjork, Karin Andersson (The Knife) and Chelsea Wolfe she admits to being “interested in using my voice as another element in the music as opposed to just a delivery system for lyrics.” She also secretly wishes for a Scandinavian accent. Like her inspirations, Alison’s voice is haunting yet soft, layered into the music rather than sitting on top of it.
The last part of VOIDS’ musical equation comes from the MPC, a tool that Andrew learnt to use to give their rhythms more punch. A classic hip hop machine, VOIDS use it in a simple way, feeding it samples they create to give their songs a familiar rhythmic bounce that’s inspired by the pioneering work of modern hip hop greats like Prefuse 73 or ElP.
Through all this, the looper remains at the centre of what VOIDS do, “with all its charms and limitations” as Andrew puts it.
3. The Fear
5. Crash and Burn
6. Begin (Night Faces Remix)
7. Knowing (Lewis James Remix)
8. The Fear (Edleigh Remix)
9. Falling (Iglooghost Remix)
10. Crash and Burn (SertOne Remix)
Purchase ‘Begin’ EP here.
WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT ‘BEGIN’
“Beautifully dark and spacious – love it!”
“Sounds like treacle”
“Trance inducing space fest.”
“I’m slightly biased ‘cos I mastered it, but this stuff is deep, heavy and sonically intricate.”