When it comes to inventive musical cocktails, my musical adventures have provided me with more than a few. While most recipes find some ways of working and even seem obvious, every so often there will come a mixture that fails to be obvious but works amazingly well. Such is the case with blackgaze and synthwave. Both genres are seeing increasing popularity and retain incredibly strong identities in their own right. It is with these two genres that Abstract Void carves out their niche by blending the two styles with astonishingly cohesive results. Last year’s Into The Blue was the freshest sounding synthwave release I had heard in a very long time. The follow-up, Back To Reality, was released in late October of this year and showed some substantial growth in the merging of the two pillar genres from whence this act draws inspiration.
This originality and high-level execution of said original idea make Abstract Void the perfect candidate to be a featured artist on our site. We love peeking into every corner of the musical space to find what is interesting and bring it to as many people as possible. The first release from this act was a personal favorite of mine (as well as the staff) from last year and it continues to get plays on my commute or any time I’m in the mood to be moody. The synthetic chirps and whines overlaid by impassioned blackgaze vocals and atmosphere is something really special.
Back To Reality, the act’s most recent effort, shows progression in several ways. One of these ways is added emphasis on the storytelling and narrative aspects of their sound. This time around, there is only one instrumental track which closes out the record, while the other six tracks focus on expression through emotive vocals. As a whole, Back To Reality is a more dynamic album with higher highs and lower lows, creating a rich listening experience from start to finish. The combination of styles is smoothed out a bit more gracefully and, in fact, forms an incredibly strong identity on its own merits.
I was able to virtually sit down with the mastermind behind Abstract Void (who shall remain anonymous) and dig into what drives them to create these fresh new sounds and where they see the project going from here.
Everything Is Noise: ‘Mixing synthwave with black metal and post metal is such an original concept. What was the inspiration for creating this hybrid?’
Abstract Void: ‘Inspiration was usual, when it comes to writing music itself – my life experiences. As for the concept of mixing those two genres – I simply tried to add electronics into my favorite style of music – blackgaze. I’m not an electronic musician, I was always a fan of metal music. I have a few attempts of doing those way before starting this projects, but one friend of mine (who makes electronic music) always said that it sounds from the 80s. That gave me a thought to try to mix my usual blackgaze style with electronic, but using famous synthwave sounds, and create similar aesthetics around the project. It was meant to be just for fun, I was sure that it won’t get much attention because it’s kinda weird for a regular listener (of both genres) – that’s what I thought. But of course, I enjoyed this mix.‘
EIN: ‘What, if any, were the other influences that inspired you to create this dynamic and original take on synthwave and blackgaze?’
AV: ‘Blackgaze is the main style I enjoy a lot, and synthwave has that dreamy, nostalgic feeling. The sound of synths takes me long back to the times where I was not even born. I’d say I love the aesthetics and they inspired me. The image of it collided with my mental condition back then and that’s what came out. I’m not a huge fan of synthwave music itself – I like it, but listen to it very very rarely.‘
EIN: ‘Into The Blue was one of our favorite records of 2017 and the response seemed to be generally very positive. Were you surprised to see such a warm reception?’
AV: ‘Absolutely. I didn’t expect any following at all. Probably people find it weird and move on to something else – but I was so wrong! It spread like crazy and created some interesting discussions whether it was a masterpiece or a complete waste. Yes – generally there were positive comments, but there also were some very harsh negative ones – but usually from close-minded people, who can’t hear music out of the borders of the genre.’
EIN: ‘In October you released Back To Reality, about a year and a half after the first album. It’s another fantastic effort. How did your approach differ from Into the Blue?’
AV: ‘On Into the Blue I didn’t really put a lot of effort, to be honest. As I said, it was just for fun and it could be executed a little bit better. For example, one song is a reworked one from my other project and it was recorded two years before this album (it was never released in that project though). One could say – there’s always a room for improvement, and it’s true. Maybe it’s also the case. Now I don’t feel anything wrong with it – got used to it too much. As for Back to Reality – it’s a really thought-through album. I saw that huge following came just after one album and had the inspiration to make something even better. I had the idea to make it heavier than the debut, more soul-crushing, more diverse. And of course, to perfect the formula I created.’
EIN: ‘So far, this project has been quite prolific, do you see that trend continuing?’
AV: ‘There will be certainly another album, but not in 2019 – I have other things to work on at the moment… I quite enjoy those songs I already did, so I’m sure I will be back at least one more time.‘
EIN: ‘Are there any other unlikely genres that you’d like to hear combined?’
AV: ‘So far I think anything else I thought of was already combined. For example, I’ve seen country music combined with modern hip-hop recently. That was weird for sure. As for myself, I’d try to continue to search for something else to add into blackgaze/shoegaze – I love this genre way too much.‘
EIN: ‘Where do you see Abstract Void going from here creatively?’
AV: ‘That’s an interesting question. On the 2nd album, there was the same improved formula of the debut. Maybe for the next one, I will try to improve it further – like adding some different arrangements or guitar solos, bring back some elements of other electronic music (like that trap part on the Into The Blue album – I love it).‘
Thanks for checking out this article and interview! This artist is doing some genuinely interesting and unique things and deserve to be piped into your ears! Be sure to give them a like and a follow over on Facebook and you pick up all of their releases over on Bandcamp, including some physical editions! You can also find Abstract Void‘s music on iTunes and Spotify!