Spin - "[I]t more often feels like a salve than a mirror to mental entanglement -- a sort of Nü Age for healing and centering in the midst of internal and external chaos."
Audio Mixer: Ville Haimala.
Photographer: Daniel Sannwald.
South London-based producer Louis Carnell couldn't have chosen a better moniker than Visionist, as his work is some of the most boundary-pushing music to emerge from the city's already forward-thinking bass music scene. His debut full-length Safe is his darkest, most challenging release yet, building upon the foundation laid by his previous singles and EPs while taking his sound into new directions. While prior Visionist tracks had resounding sub-bass and complex yet still linear beat patterns that could easily translate to the dancefloor, Safe is less accessible, building jagged rhythmic sequences that confound and occasionally punish, incorporating gunshot blasts and other harsh noises into cathartic tracks like "Victim." Other tracks such as "Sin-cere" and "Sleep Luxury" eschew beats entirely, tapping into grime's ambient "weightless" subgenre. Visionist has always been fond of utilizing vocal samples in his work, and on this album he extracts miniscule high-pitched slivers from pop and R&B tunes, turning them into mysterious, haunting instruments that convey cries of despair more than they communicate actual words. As with producers such as Sd Laika, Rabit, and M.E.S.H., Visionist takes grime far from its roots and fashions it into a weapon, expressing personal trauma, pain, and loneliness. Eerie, violent, and ethereal, Safe is a triumph and a culmination of everything Visionist has done thus far as a producer, DJ, and label owner. ~ Paul Simpson