What does Void Comp sound like?
Smooth synthwave mixed with sad alternative rock edges.
The review of Void Comp – Metropol
Void Comp’s new EP ‘Metropol’ has all the hallmarks of the smoothest 80s synthwave. It’s laid back, thick synths ring out and are given space to breathe. Hell, even the guitar solos are replaced with a pitch-bending synth solo. Yet that isn’t what draws me into Void Comp’s music. It is his ability to balance that smooth elevator synth side with some really downbeat alternative rock edges. What starts off as sounding like something you could bliss out to ends up becoming something quite dark and damp.
‘In Circles’ kicks off the EP with chunky drum loops, finger clicks and elevator synth music. It paints the music to start one way and then adds electric guitars and Void Comp’s shoegazing vocal styles to haze up the production. David Julé, the guy behind Void Comp, has an excellent voice for clouded vocals and he drifts in and out like a disenfranchised ghost. By the time the epic synth solo comes in you realise this EP isn’t going to be an easy genre fit, it is going to straddle multiple ideas and take no prisoners doing so.
‘Painted Faces’ is all about the unusual shifting of detuned, depressed bass synths. The whole track is drenched in an oppressive hum that chokes all the other instruments except for a jangling dissonant guitar. As it’s so smooth, it has a numb intensity to it that I adore. After two synth-driven tracks, ‘Reflector’ brings in acoustic guitar, real drums and muted pianos for a drifting, washed-out track. The mesh of acoustic and synthetic works so well here and its cold reverb lets every note echo out into a vast void. Oddly, this feels like the most upbeat and positive track on the album and that comes from the chord progression and the warmth the acoustics bring.
‘Just Eyes’ keeps the acoustics but turns inwards like a curious stealth serpent. Its two-chord bass swing allows the beat and vocals to take centre stage as if we’re getting an alternative Bond theme. The track builds over time but only becomes more mysterious, curious and ambiguous with it. It’d work well as a soundtrack piece for a thriller. ‘High Relief’ turns towards deconstructing club music with raging synths desperate to break out by being smothered before they can break free. Whilst the chorus feels more Son Lux and SOHN based, the overarching theme is seedier like Soft Cell. Indeed, a rockier mix of that trio is a great descriptor of Void Comp and his style. 2 am. A back alley. Meet you there and expect danger and a cuddle. The release closes with the smoky electro-blues of ‘Go Slow’. The song goes to great lengths to sound like it’s breaking down with its clunky rhythms, whiny jazzy synth solos and wiry tape-chewed undercurrent. If anything, it does it a bit too well as it is the only track on the EP I didn’t immediately gel with!
What speaks to me across the release is how detuned and darkly brooding the tracks are. The vocal haze brings a cloudy chaos and the songs evoke a searching feeling – an emptiness at times. I wouldn’t say Void Comp is a vaporwave artist but there are elements of his synth work that borrows from that intentionally vapid genre. Pairing it with elements of miserable loathing rock is genius and no one else quite delivers that numbed sadness in the way Void Comp does. Hopefully, an album will come soon.
Recommended track: High Relief
Support Higher Plain Music
Higher Plain Music is part of the Higher Plain Network – a one-man indie media project. If you like what I do, please consider supporting me via Patreon for as little as $1/£1 a month. In return, you’ll receive additional perks for supporting me, such as behind-the-scenes content and free downloads. You can also donate using PayPal. Sharing the website helps too or using the affiliate buy now links on reviews. I receive a few pence per Amazon sale. All your support will enable me to produce better content, more often. I’d love to make this a full-time media network and your support can make that happen. Thank you.