Release Notes

Release: Make Null and Void
Date: April 29th, 2022
Mastered By: Frederik Tack
Artwork By: Niels Orens

After months of anxiety about the situation in Ukraine, I decided to partner with Hollie Kenniff and Rafael Anton Irisarri and actually do something about it. The second volume of For Ukraine featured the one and only Ryuichi Sakamoto, and thanks to all of the people who have supported this cause, yesterday I was able to make a donation in the amount of $10,000 to What does this have to do with this video premiere, you may ask? Well, all of the above was somewhat of a mental inhibitor to go on with the usual programming of Headphone Commute, and now I feel slightly “unblocked” so that we can proceed with sharing more music. Such is the case here, where I’m happy to share an audio-visual work by Belgian producer and visual artist Niels Orens. This particular track is taken off his most recently released Make Null and Void EP, on which Orens is “searching for new ways to generate sound and explore the different textures of his cello.” But beyond the organic sound design, which incorporates voice, ukelele, and live drums on top of the cello to capture a feeling with sound, Orens wrote an algorithm that “transforms deserted/empty landscapes into interesting visual textures” and all of this somehow melts into shapes, blends into surfaces, and dissolves into structures again. It’s good to be back, folks!

For me, music is a way of expressing myself – iterations that otherwise would not find a way out. I started to write these tracks just the way I felt at that moment – it feels natural to stay true to my feelings without getting stuck on a list of checkboxes that have to be crossed to fit in a genre. By going for this approach, I discovered techniques and signatures that I kept using in every track. For example the glitchy details, the more complex rhythmic elements and the use of my cello to create organic synth-like textures and pads.

If you enjoyed this video, be sure to also check out “Too Tired to Sprint” which uses an AI algorithm by digital artist and AI researcher Xander Steenbrugge, to create dreamscapes from fantastic creatures. The four-track debut EP is already out, as of April 29th, and is available directly from Bandcamp.