I imagine somewhere tucked somewhere within a recess of history and architecture, where Votive Zero exists as an immaculate, 360-degree experience. I taste the fresh vibrations as they rattle out of a metallic amplifier grate, examining each crease within each cough of slapback delay; I make eye contact with the mechanism heaves of Thought Broadcast in the present tense, witnessing the music rise up as it builds itself from the blank. In reality, this isn’t the experience I’m presented with. This record feels like the sole, botched document of something wonderful; a fading, fraying thread to the source event that bears only the outline and ghostly shades of its original form, beating dully like a heart wrapped in cardboard.
I squint with my ears, and I hear how the dying motor of “Anchorite” has been reduced to a stuttering plosive; how the crisp shower of static and siren feedback on “Runaway Signal” now sound like a farmyard tractor groaning helplessly as it clambers out of a ditch; how the shimmering, metallic serenade of “07/13/2013” has been reduced to rust and flimsy copper. The only constant between the two is the rotary, production line rhythms that bring Votive Zero into grey, functional existence. There are times when the stomping, vertical industry conjures the faint false memory of a post-punk group from decades prior, projecting into their own dystopian future of machine hypnosis and eternal hydraulic routine. For the entire time that I’m listening – and regardless of how much I try and drag my mind back into the reality of Votive Zero’s origin – I find myself dreaming and speculating as to the current whereabouts of a secretive, underground 80s band that never was.