Photo by Kouichirou Tue Nakai.
When I was a kid I remember catching the end of that episode of Goosebumps where a kit ant-farm goes haywire. The ants grow to the size of large buildings and watch the humans trapped in their houses, in the kind of absurdist role-reversal which is terrifying when you’re six. Maybe it’s the cover art playing tricks on me, or maybe it’s the apocalypse-horror soundscapes, but the latest dispatch from the Voyder collective brought this to mind.
Written by French producer Francis Balthazar operating under the name Cancer, Presque Rien is in many ways typical of what I’ve come to expect from Voyder; nuclear armageddon hip-hop and intergalactic distortions work in brain-scrambling contortions.
Although separated into digestible track lengths, the album is intended to be listened to in one sitting, each track leading into the next with little respite given from the crushing circuit bent electronics. Furthermore there are a number of remixes by Balthazar included on the LP, making the listening experience something like attending one of his live shows, not least for the improvised, freeform feel it possesses.
Of these dissections, ‘Bouche Trou’ is one of the most memorable; bone-rattling abstractions and grunting, swaggered rhythms working together in distorted chaos. ‘Thunder5’ is another of the release’s most intense contributions, strained dial-tones and plummeting blasts of low-end thud to a fro, like if Death Grips had gone out for a big one at the late (great) Plastic People.
Although they’re only five releases deep, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt about Voyder, it’s that they only like waveforms which look like a city broker’s payday cigar. Any breaks or dynamics are compressed to oblivion, resulting in tracks which are above all else, loud. Balthazar then, is a pretty ideal fit for Voyder, presenting a release which assaults the eardrums with little regard for the long term damage it might cause. Glorious.