NULL + VOID
“Cryosleep” is the debut album from Null + Void, the alias of prolific
New York producer Kurt Uenala.
Kurt Uenala aka Null + Void may not be a familiar name for many music fans, but chances are you’ve heard his work.
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.
He first made his name in 2003, debuting as Kap10Kurt on the essential compilation
The Sound Of Young New York. His song “Die Sleeping” was an early classic of dreamy, club-ready synth pop, and it caught the attention of fans and artists around the world.
It eventually landed him a gig recording with Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan, not to mention a long list of major acts such as Moby and The Kills.
The collaboration with Dave was especially fruitful—the two became friends, and it wasn’t long before Kurt began writing original songs for Depeche Mode.
His love for vintage synthesizers, dark electronic music, and exploring unusual chord structures was a natural fit. The more Kurt worked with Dave and Depeche Mode, the more time he spent at his Manhattan studio. He started writing his own shadowy, melancholic songs, filling them with angular beats and moody atmospheres.
After a while, the basis of Kurt’s new solo project, Null + Void, took shape.
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.
Vocal performances by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Big Pink, Light Asylum and
Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan bring their resonant humanity into the music’s austere beauty and cold dynamism. There are mighty club tracks, too: lead single “Asphalt World” is built on Detroit electro’s mechanical bounce and has a sinister glint in its eyes.
“I’m more studio driven: I sit with machines and often stumble over ideas,”
Kurt says of his creative process.
“I just start playing and see what comes out, let the sometimes unpredictable equipment and whatever happens guide me.”
Suffice it to say that he’s a bit of a gearhead, albeit one with a strong sense of intuition that can only come from a lifetime spent immersed in your art. Null + Void may be a new name with endless possibilities ahead, but it arrives with the history of a seasoned artist bursting with
“Cryosleep” is an album of contrasts and tension, where darkness is pierced by blinding light, and where moody new wave bleeds into stark electronics. In one moment, joyful memories give way to isolation and regret, and in the next, “Cryosleep” explores the catharsis of crowded dance floors.
But for all of its widescreen beauty and world-building, Null + Void’s debut album also thrives on emotional songwriting and stylish versatility. Uenala dips his beloved old-school genres in chrome, giving them a contemporary, high-gloss sheen. Dave Gahan’s singular voice brings a classic edge to “Where I Wait,” a stunning song about hope and uncertainty.
“I wrote it with Dave in mind, He wrote the melody and lyrics soon after
he was sick, which I think influenced the reflective tone.”
The song, which also features Sharin Foo of The Raveonettes, shines among “Cryosleep”‘s unforgettable pop excursions, alongside the quietly catchy “Take It Easy” and the harrowing “Hands Bound”. Uenala envisioned the “larger than life” voice of Shannon Funchess amidst frantic beats and gothic bells, and she brings undeniable power to “Hands Bound”. In awe of her presence, the producer says,
“Shannon sings her lyrics about dominance and control with scary conviction.”
The title “Cryosleep” perfectly accentuates what Null + Void expresses throughout his first record.
“It’s about the desire to keep loved ones alive beyond their lifespan, alluding to the personal life experiences that colour this music. “And if you tapped into that frozen person and scanned their last thoughts, their final farewell, this is what might come out.”
To experience “Cryosleep” is to enter the many worlds of the subconscious, vibrant realms of hidden shadows, lost memories, and the mesmerizing unknown.
B I Z Z A R R E
Null + Void: Where I Wait feat. Dave Gahan
NULL + VOID – Cryosleep