Review: Julien Bayle – Void Propagate

Julien Bayle - Void propagate - coverIf we are to think of ambient music as a depiction of atmospheric equilibrium (which we probably shouldn’t, but I know that my own inclination is often to do so), then Void Propagate is perhaps the very antithesis: an examination of the repellent, reactive activities that occur everywhere, all of the time, at the microscopic level. Sounds are colliding with reverberant clacks of impact – constantly, violently – while whirrs of electro-magnetic nausea arise as two volatile substances are brought into dangerous proximity. This EP, seemingly alien in its sighs of microphone feedback and rumbles of astral pressure, actually reveals the ripples in the fabric that runs through the world I know – even those elements I misconceive to be perfectly and utterly still.

It’s a record of unwieldy power, with drones whipping upward, splitting open into shrill squeals and then slamming back down again, cracking like a polymer chassis coming apart, amplifying even the most graceful application of force into a catastrophic sway and collision. Perhaps the most alluring aspect of Void Propagate is how it generates the illusion of gigantic disruptions within the realms of the minuscule; these rips and hums are only large when pitched against their molecular context, and Bayle manages to capture this awkward sense of scale – at once imperceptibly small and viscerally large – with beautiful finesse.