Album ReviewsReviews

Review: Yen Pox - Universal Emptiness (2011)

artist: Yen Pox
release: Uni­ver­sal Empti­ness
format: 10″
year of release: 2011
label: Sub­stan­tia Innominata
dur­a­tion: 33:16

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

The first new release in many a year by Yen Pox is this gor­geous 10″ vinyl in the out­stand­ing Sub­stan­tia Innominata series, which seems to be tak­ing over from one-time par­ent label Drone Records, whose 7″ drones series has recently ceased.

The first side builds up the ten­sion with massive dark drones and waves, which give way to a slowly pulsat­ing sound struc­ture that dom­in­ates the most of the track. Like the bril­liant art­work (done by fre­quent label col­lab­or­at­ors Eye.lyft) sug­gests, these are faintly musical sounds, like the dis­tilled aural onslaught of churn­ing galax­ies and black holes. The B-side “Below” con­tains, in a way, more of the same, but this works per­fectly. The two sides together form over half an hour of delight­fully deep and immers­ive sounds, ever-shift­ing so that no second sounds exactly the same. What these tracks lack in con­crete melody or famil­iar points of depar­ture, they make up in tex­ture and flow, which is what music like this can be about too. Ima­gine listen­ing to the deep­est cur­rents of an ocean, or the swirl­ing of star sys­tems through space, and you’ve got a bit of an idea.

Uni­ver­sal Empti­ness is a mini-album that’s cer­tainly not for the faint of heart, but those who ven­ture inside will mar­vel at the com­plex yet har­mo­ni­ous tides cours­ing through these two tracks. It’s deep, dark, and heavy, and extremely skil­fully done. I don’t think Yen Pox could have wished for a bet­ter comeback release, and it is only the latest of high­lights in the Sub­stan­tia Innominata series.

Reviewed by O.S.


1. Above (16:53)

2. Below (16:23)