Album Review: Blank Disco – From Zero

Sebastiao Martins 24 April 2011

Blank Disco – From Zero (Subexotic Records – Release date: 13 June 2011)

Track to download: Last Transmission

This album reminds me of a video art exhibition I went to a few years back. My most vivid recollection of this ‘so elegant, so intelligent’ experience was of a city that was projected unto a screen in the form of a sea anemone.

Each of its moving tentacles armed with cnidocytes was a highway of cars pumping smoke and going back and forth with their excessively yellow or excessively red bright lights, the whole thing on the verge of post-apocalyptic decrepitude… but somehow still a living and ‘breathing’ Thing.

Ok, now take all of that and put it through a futuristic grinder that would convert evocative images into poetic sounds, and presto – you get Blank Disco, a production by experimentalist Dan Seville that takes visceral techno/ambient music and sprinkles subtle urban sounds on top, projecting a waste land of worms and machines where the organic meets the mechanical.

 If you loved Vangelis’ soundtrack to the cinematic masterpiece The Blade Runner (1982), this is for you, particularly the final track – ‘Last transmission’ –, strangely evocative of the same odd mix of melancholy and bliss that you feel when hearing ‘Bladerunner Blues’.

Blank Disco offers the unwritten and underlying soundtrack of the urban city it both evokes and recreates by transforming the mundane and the decaying into something all of a sudden worth contemplating, all of a sudden almost beautiful.

Sadly, there is no film to go with it, so either imagine this urban city or grab your headphones and go to the top of the London Eye at 7 pm, smear your contact lenses with Vaseline and watch skyscrapers drown in a smoggy Martian sunset.

Sebastiao Martins