Voltage Black – Symmetrics (2013, Single)

Earlier this year I covered Voltage Black’s previous massive single We, The Obsoleteand now Ewan Fisher is at it again with his latest couplet to be released on Bandcamp, Calcium/Symmetrics. Like last time I’m not going to cover the other track (there were 2 remixes and the original in the last one and I only covered one remix), and today we’re just going to be taking a listen to the 2nd track, “Symmetrics”.

I’m absolutely terrible at covering singles because I always try to apply how I talk about whole albums to a single track and it never works out. Mostly I end up just telling people to check out the music because I dig it, and I wouldn’t be posting it if it weren’t true; this damn track has been stuck in my head since it was sent to me. So there it is, for free, right here in the page that you can listen to right now.

“theres something of the noise I need around my head
massaging with sonic fingers
the firing of the laser beams
the burnt synaptic make believe”

Croons Ewan in the explosive rush of the chorus, chanting a little mantra through the murky waters of reverb, fighting through thickly processed distal guitars and piercing synth riffs. There isn’t the same infectious anthemic groove to “Symmetrics” as we heard from “We, The Obsolete”, but the messages through the lyrics are still every bit as enigmatic as the robotic vocoder that dominated the previous. It’s bookended by luxurious minimalistic sequences of electronica; veiled in slow, rich guitar, some underlying glow of remnant drone and hints of birdsong, and in the middle of it all is the meaty vocal section. Initially the first verse simply topples over straight into the chorus in a rising wave of swirling electronic bleeps and rushing sound but the second pulse is an explosive drop following a brief lull, a burst of excitable sound, the shockwave following the implosion. There’s such a big space in the sound, such voids being hinted at in the underlying melodies, it’s like we’re inside his brain with mesmerising shapes and pulses of sound and colour suddenly lighting up the neurons and creating these ambitious maximalist worlds right between the ears, but then reality hits and we’re forced to dial back the daydream and return to the real world.

Anyone interested in a kind of Wonky Alternative Synth Pop vaguely similar but absolutely nothing like Matthew Dear will probably be a fan of this sound. Definitely worth checking out, and maybe even buying on Bandcamp for a princely £1.