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Press & Reviews

Regen Magazine review of Never Get To You

December 14, 2009

A little bit of trip-hop, a little bit of ambient, and a little bit of EBM/industrial make for an edgy and enticing listen.

Aaron Potter and Daniel Brunet - the duo better known to the world of modern electro/industrial as Empty - have been making small but significant strides in their ability to create music that is as experimental as it is accessible. With Never Get to You, they delve even further into their genre-bending style as the title track melds the expansive atmospheres of ambient with energetic beats reminiscent of trip-hop with a heavier edge. Topping the song off are some rather emotive vocal melodies that ground the listener in a recognizable musical framework, while the subtle yet effective use of glitches and vocoder keep everything just short of completely poppy. Of the various versions of the song present on the EP, the Dismantled remix is perhaps the least impressive as it seems to add little more than a four-on-the-floor EBM beat and some rather nice piano touchups that for all their organic beauty don't carry the song into any direction that is particularly divergent from the original. Conversely, Angel Theory's remix, while just as dance floor friendly, alters the bass line and the overall character of the song into something a tad darker and more suspenseful. The remixes by Pask and Iammynewt are far more experimental in their approach, both emphasizing the song's atmospheric layers. Pask's Requiem remix takes its time building up the tension as the listener is engulfed in sweeps of dark ambience and manipulated textures, and while the traces of the melodic progressions and bass lines are heard, they are more atmospheric until midway through the remix when the beats and vocals appear, and then we're back into the song as we've heard it thus far. Iammynewt starts off similarly, but a grittier synth bass dominates the track before long and for the finale, it shifts gears to a different key, as if to prepare us for what Angel Theory would do in the last track. But before you begin to think that most of Empty's sonic intrigue comes from remixes by other artists, the new track "Forgotten Dreams" shows us just what a diverse range this Australian duo possesses; an epic bit of psychedelic drum & bass with those deep rolls of ambient pads, pulsating bass lines, and menacingly appealing vocoder. Filling the single out is a cover of The Models' 1985 song "King of Kings," which Potter and Brunet do well to transcribe to their own style, laden with breakbeats and sweeping synthesizers, in such a way that one would not know it was a cover without actually reading the liner notes. Never Get to You does well to demonstrated Empty's melodic and sonic versatility, but that's not to say the band's previous releases did not do so, but rather that if you still are unfamiliar with this Aussie duo's work, this single is an excellent entry point.

Rating: 3/5 (60%)

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The new album "Surfacing" is now available

Empty - Surfacing

A breath of badly needed fresh air.

- Rick Gallo (Arable Farmland - Chicago, USA)

Complex and melodic, with an underlying current of desperation.

- Charles Fenech (ANGELTHEORY - Melbourne, Australia)

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