Thursday, July 16, 2020
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Map 71: Void Axis

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Artist: Map 71
Title: Void Axis
Format: CD + Download
Label: Fourth Dimension Records
The fusion of Lisa Jayne’s Essex-tinged spoken word poetry and Andy Pyne’s drums and electronics results in a raw, sometimes abrasive album that expects attention. Over steady non-evolving electronic patterns and aggressive snare-heavy drum work, Jayne reads freeform lines full of abstraction and idea collisions that suggest this is what Karl Hyde would sound like if he was simultaneously both very tired and very angry.

There’s a strange nostalgia element at points that seems to be harking back to the political and musical dissent of the 80’s, not just lyrically in pieces like “The Prefab” but sonically as well at times- and even in an odd way in the artwork. Themes are deeply physical and confrontational but not devoid of moments of self-doubt and at times self-pity.

“Nuclear Landscapes” is one of the strongest tracks, particularly dark and distorted electronics and rumbling drums underpinning more sparse words. The multi-layering of the vocal on “Armour and Ecdysis” combined with drumming that steps towards freeform jazz also makes it more intriguing, with more depth than some of the other more one-note offerings like “Neonsignquietlife”.

It’s a rough-edged and challenging listen at times from a duo that might be more watchable and engaging in a live context than on a recording. It didn’t really float my boat but if you’re looking for the punkier side of avantgarde, here’s some worth sampling.


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