Staring at The Void
Mind|Matter’s new release Staring at the Void follows close behind previous EP Enfant De La Démence, and expands on the sound Théo Ferretti-Milhaud established on that release. While still deeply rooted in body music bass and clanging percussion, there’s certainly a lot more atmosphere at play, as well as step forward in production quality and sound design.
The core of Mind|Matter’s approach has usually been centered around classic EBM basslines – pulsing 16th note deals of the sort favoured by neo-oldschoolers and techno crossover acts alike. Interestingly it’s not a sound that holds sway over Staring at the Void, replaced by more complex percussion and deeper and wider application of synthetic ambience. Opener “Weakness” exemplifies the change with the rapid exchanges between sizzling wet samples, metallic drum hits and gated horror movie pads that border on dark electro. The title track pushes that sound even further, with its filtered bass sound relegated to the bottom of the mix while programmed strings and manic synth sequences play out above. Interestingly when Ferretti-Milhaud does put together a bassline forward track in “The Impalement” he smooths it down and rounds it off, the clean gated reverb snares suggesting touches of synthwave.
The best track on Staring at The Void however is the slower paced “Meaningless Sentence”, a slice of classic post-industrial that bangs away at mid-tempo. The kind of manipulated samples, rushing sequences and lo-fi snippets of guitar are all balanced together just so, tapping into the power of the acts of yesteryear with a kind of genuine reverence that doesn’t read as imitation. Its status as centerpiece is reinforced by having two of the release’s three remixes are dedicated to it, with Arabian Panther going for a more funky electro vibe and Randolph & Mortimer extending it into a 8 minute long retro 12″ dance mix.
Mind|Matter’s most intriguing quality at this stage is the project’s rapid development, and how easily Ferretti-Milhaud takes to different sounds. Whether this is a temporary detour or a pointer towards the band’s future isn’t clear, but that doesn’t detract from its appeal.