NULL + VOID
Image by Rainer Hosch
Making his debut in 2003 as Kap10Kurt on a classic compilation called
The Sound Of Young New York with a song called “Die Sleeping” (a classic dreamy, club-ready synth pop and captivating song), rapidly caught the attention of music lovers and artists around the world. This success gave him the chance of recording with Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan, and suddenly the long list of major acts came bigger and bigger with collaborations with big names such as Moby and The Kills.
Kurt Uenala aka Null + Void may not be a familiar name but certainly, the chances that you’ve heard his work are high. The Swiss-born New Yorker is the kind of prodigious musician you’d call a “lifer”: no matter where he is or what he’s doing, music is the focus.
His love for electronic music, the passion for vintage synthesizers, and dark electronic music, made him explore into unusual chord structures as it was a natural fit. His collaboration with Dave Gahan was especially fruitful, they became good friends, and it wasn’t long before Kurt began writing original songs for Depeche Mode. This was the key that kept Kurt working on, the more Kurt worked with Dave and Depeche Mode, the more time he spent at his Manhattan studio, writing his own songs, experimenting with them, filling them with moody atmospheres and angular beats. After a while, the basis of Kurt’s new solo project, Null + Void, took shape.
Now, inspired by retro sci-fi, electronic innovators and new wave, the debut
Null + Void album, Cryosleep, puts Kurt’s extensive production experience into a wide variety of songs.
“Cryosleep” It’s an album of contrasts and tension, where darkness is pierced by blinding light, and where moody new wave bleeds into stark electronics, exploring the catharsis of crowded dance floors. In this album Uenala matches his dynamic production with incredible vocalists—from Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahanand the inimitable Shannon Funchess, to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Big Pink. Null + Void’s take on dark pop meshes with his love for Detroit electro, poignant synth melodies, and cold atmospheres.
Ladies and gentleman, we are glad to introduce you with the talented Kurt Uenala and his amazing project Null + Void.
Bizzarre: An ordinary day in your life how is it?
Kurt Uenala: I get up in the morning and make my own coffee...Well My beloved machine does it. And I eat a Swiss Muesli and then then I bike down to the Studio. I bicycle everywhere in NYC. I quite dislike the subway with it’s moldy smell and the army of rats, haha. Biking is the way to go in NYC these days.
B: In a near future, very close, three things that you would do?
KU: I get to go to far eastern Iceland, to a Fjord, to live in an artist commune and create a special piece in the dead of winter. It’s going to be loads of snow and maybe northern lights, I am hoping...Then I play Sonar Reykjavik and after that, I go to Argentina for some projects.
B: How the music impacts your life?
KU: Very much, its everything to me, except relationships with fellow earthlings.
B: What did your last encounters really bring to you?
KU: Much joy and elnlightenment.
B: "Cryosleep" LP, after so many years producing / mixing other artists, why definitely now, and not before, the jump to move forward and release this solo project?
KU: Its like many things in life, a question of being able to afford to focus my time on this record. I finally I could afford to focus on Null + Void and not do other jobs.
The puzzle pieces really fell together last Fall when my good friend and manager Kasper Bjørke heard 5 song ideas and declared that this could be a great record. He had a close connection to a cool label called HFN and I loved the music they release such as Trentemoller and Kaspers Bjorke’s own music. So when they said they want to release the album, it was very motivating to finish it and get all the parts together.
B: How do music and other aspects of your life feed back into each other - do you separate them or instead try to make them blend seamlessly?
KU: I dont think you can separate them. I used to have a proper Job and that was easier to separate but with music, its a 16 hour a day activity, at least for me. I work quite careful and sometimes obsess over details a bit.
B: Do you have a particular favourite song from the album you’d like to tell us about?
KU: I think Apshalt kiss is really special. To get that bass frequency to be that strong and dominant at such a high level was not easy to achieve. I listened on so many systems when i mixed it. I brought it to the Depeche session even to test it on the studio monitors and the mastering engineer Jan Driver really pushed it to the limit of what is possible.
B: By the way, tell us more about that... i don't know, very sci-fi title chosen for the album?
KU: Cryogenics is a process to freeze a body and keep the cells intact enough, to possibly revive that body at some point in a future. At that point it hopefully will be possible cure the body from and return it to a state of life.
B: Very versatile collaborations of amazing artist and incredible bands, from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Big Pink to Dave Gahan, how did you choose those artists, and how was it to work with them?
KU: They were friends and people I have worked with before. Also, i like edgy voices so they all have quite a unique character as vocalists.
Dave Gahan & Null + Void
Image by Timothy Saccenti
Null + Void: Where I Wait feat. Dave Gahan
Null + Void: Take It Easy feat. The Big Pink
B: Can you explain to us what was the main inspiration to create your amazing album?
KU: I tried to make a concise but varied record that captured a longing and desire for things long gone. The title of the album, Cryosleep, is about the struggle to let go. To keep a loved one alive and possibly communicate with them. I was reading a great book called Ubik at the time and the story about how one of the characters tries to ask his dead wife for advice really connected with me.
B: Describe your last 365 days in 3 words?
KU: Peaks and Valleys….Mostly peaks thankfully!