Album Title: 
Into The Void
Release Date: 
Thursday, April 18, 2024
Review Type: 

I knew the name Archaic from the strange yet intriguing recording 116 Mycelio Tronics EP, available via Electric Music Foundation, yet apparently this duo did release another recording shortly after that EP, i.e. Into The Void. Seen the specific sonic output, it is not that strange at all that this full album got released via ZeroK, an experimental label within the permanently growing USG family. Anyway; Archaic hail from the Netherlands, and consist of Jelle Groen and Pieter Hooghiem. They met at a cultural events venue, and since they did share a certain -and I will quote- passion for music, technology [] into the world of modular synthesis, it did not take long before they decided to join forces. Working together at the Willem Twee Studio -and I will quote once more- they found themselves entangled in a web of intricate patch cables and mesmerizing oscillators. Discovering the complexities of modular synthesis and navigating the labyrinthine pathways of signal flow, they created intricate sonic landscapes. Hehe, it seems as if I can finish my review as from here.

Of course, there’s more to say than this. Into The Void actually is a one-piece effort, yet one that lasts for not less than forty-three minutes. It was totally created and recorded by Jelle and Pieter, with mastering duties provided by no one else but Raffaele Pezzella himself. Besides the digital downloadable edition, there is a very limited one too on compact-disc, i.e. a jewel-case with artwork that totally fits to the sonic content.

As said, this recording is a one-track-event, yet one that continuously evolves, changes, morphs and mutates. The mainly improvised effort teases the senses and twists the mind, as if accidentality and purpose joined forces. It starts very quiet, even integer, or intimate, if you want to. It is as if the duo tried to define ‘silence’ through a source of sonic essence. At about seven minutes, things expand through the untouchable appearance of climbing beats and reverberating pulses, assisted by electrified mono-waves. It sounds repetitive and slothful, even lethargic, yet it is not, for behind the surface there are several hidden layers that expose themselves whenever they are ready to get revealed. The spine of this minimalistic corpus is like a one-coloured painting, such cover that seems dull at first, but when you come closer, you might discern different shades of that specific colour.

At different moments, the core-modus develops by touching new dimensions of sonic basement, and by examining seemingly previously unexplored universes of sound-sculpting. About permanently veiled in a nebula of enigma, imagination and mystery, the addition of amplifying rumbles and crackles, mesmeric drones, humble electric injections and field-recorded (?) detailism, besides the quite permanently presented beats, lifts up the uniqueness of nihilism in combination with intrigue. I have never thought that such down-earthed (although it surrounds cosmic proportions) and minimal material could cause a sense of hyper-attentiveness, the whole of the time. I mean, despite the ‘lack’ of adventurous play, Into The Void remains a full-packaged and in-depth journey. It has something surreal, without the decadence of the overpowering visual surrealistic artistry of course, yet still…