Review: The Rainbow Body – Return Unto Void

It seems that the term “void” is loaded with more negative connotations than positive. As a noun, it often depicts somewhere shut off, disconnected from life and the physical, stripped of light and soul; to occupy the void is to embody loneliness, and to exist (or perhaps non-exist) in a nowhere, aeons away from somewhere. But in the latest album by The Rainbow Body, the “void” manifests as a place of enlightenment. One is not detached from the world around them but transcends it; not prised away from time’s unfolding but knowingly oblivious to it – the “void” is a climax of bliss, consuming consciousness in a panoramic kaleidoscope of colour and flickering lights.

The record’s eight tracks occupy a meditative stasis with cyclical movements (sometimes explicitly melodic, sometimes looser and seemingly improvised) occurring within, often hovering between Tim Hecker’s warm distortion shower and the foggy ambient horizons of Andrew Chalk. Even the album’s sparser stretches feel colossal in scale, surging in intermittent bursts and evaporating like the astral trails of comets, merging into various harmonic formations and colliding gently in chance chord patterns. But the album truly shines (blazes, more accurately) during the more ecstatic overloads of sound, in which the entire soundscape fizzes and shivers with positive energy: the wondrous sunrise of “Void 1”, the weightless psychedelic mantra of “Void 7”.