Music Reviews

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Artist: Access to Arasaka (@)
Title: void()
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: Tympanik Audio
Rated: *****
Access to Arasaka is the project name of Rob Lioy, based in Rochester, New York. This is Access to Arasaka's second full release on Tympanik after 'Oppidan' in 2009. Taking his name from the 'Cyberpunk 2020'³ off-shoot card game 'Netrunner,' it's no surprise that ATA's William Gibson/'The Matrix' fueled 'void()' album is as cybercore as you can get, and more deserving of that genre label than most it has been ascribed too. What I initially imagined to be another awkward melding of glitch an ambient before I heard the CD has turned out to be something else indeed.

In listening to 'void()' one is struck with just how well everything is done. There is perfect integration and meshing of the rhythmic glitch elements with the synth-sonics. Much of it is very spacious too, and endlessly intriguing. In lot music along these lines that I've been exposed to, especially of late, there is a tendency toward repetition in one form or another leads to ennui. Not so here. Things are constantly morphing, shifting, changing. There is no bombast or pretentious electronic pyrotechnics. Subtle is the encrypted code of this milieu. Over the sixteen tracks on this album there is a rich variety of mood and flavor while remaining faithful to its theme. 'void()' is the dark, cold ambience of cyberspace pierced by the semi-random intrusions of thousands of hackers. To a great degree cinematic, this could easily be the soundtrack of a rather advanced, cerebral computer game. The only human element in the music is the brief vocal sample which surfaces occasionally as a transmission from afar.

I am amazed at how quickly this album passed in time too; a little under an hour in length, it seemed like less than half that. Then again, maybe time is altered in cyberspace. This is one helluva great disc, with a high replay factor, and for those who prefer headphone or earbuds, it will surely blow your mind in a most sublime way. If you're looking for something beyond 'Blade Runner,' beyond 'Akira,' beyond 'The Matrix,' then thrust yourself into (the) 'void()'. It will surely swallow you up. Highly recommended.



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