Blank Disco – From Zero (Subexotic Records)

Subexotic Records select the debut LP from London-based producer Blank Disco for their introductory release. ‘From Zero’ is an ambient recital of urban decay, evoking thick waves of electronica and techno. Working under the Blank Disco alias, producer Dan Seville has taken nearly two years to perfect his work, with a heavy approach to sound manipulation and the use of digital audio as a conceptual form.

Inspired by the more monotonous elements of city life, opener ‘NYC’ sets the tone with an electric crescendo, with various elements of the track gradually layered to create an explosion of sound. Similar razor sharp synths and angular, dark tones can be heard on ‘Where Are They Now’ and ‘No Good Reason’ – this is strict reflective, late night listening – not for those who favour a melody over a profound minor key.

There are prettier moments though. The empty static and twinkling chimes on ‘The Mistakes I Made’ provide some respite from some of the album’s colder moments, whilst ‘Midsummer’ brings an agile, warm feel with it’s rhythmic, synth led hypnoses. Even ‘Numbers’ is a little denser, but sticks with that steady pulse.

Seville’s inspiration for the record certainly projects its intentions clearly, the use of space and rhythm within each track reflect the more sombre elements of modern city life. The record flourishes in all its minimalist glory; although I’m not sure the idea of a concept shines through completely in this instance, sometimes the silence says it all.

Lucinda Runham

‘From Zero’ is released via Subexotic Records on June 13.