Access to Arasaka – void();

Access to Arasaka - void();

CD, Tympanik Audio, 2010
www.accesstoarasaka.com

With previous releases, Rob Lioy’s glitch IDM compositions under the name Access to Arasaka were favourably compared to early Haujobb and Gridlock. “void();”, his second full-length on Tympanik Audio, follows suit and doesn’t bring many surprises to the table as Lioy further refines his sound and style – listeners familiar with the aforementioned projects or his previous work will find themselves on familiar ground.
Access to Arasaka’s cold but highly evocative compositions can be easily imagined as perfect soundtracks for vast cyberspace landscapes out of William Gibson’s imagination or “Tron” (the original, please…). In short, “void();” is magnificent, epic and all-encompassing music to transport the listener away, flying over data-streams criss-crossing in slow-motion, or to what may be going on in the mind of an old 24600 bps modem undergoing an acid trip. In a way it can also be one of the ultimate geek-trips – for old-school players of the Shadowrun RPG and cyberpunk idealists, at least.
Fast-paced broken beats share stage with glitch ‘accidents’ while sweeping melodic elements wax and wane, creating a background for the grandiose aural play that is “void();”. Despite the harsh coldness and artificiality of its constituent elements, the end result is surprisingly organic in its entirety – thanks in no small part to what seems to be millimetric precision and uttermost attention to detail from the part of the artist. Pieces range from the relatively introspective (like the absolute standout “config.sen_seq” and the slow-evolving “”) to the downright frantic (“array[0..8191]”) and chillout (“n->m_pkthdr.len”) the constituent parts seemingly repeating the overall pattern of the whole, giving the impression of an aural fractal.
In the end, for those familiar with Access to Arasaka (or this kind of aesthetic), and despite its quality and the fact that it provides a pleasing and solidly rewarding listening experience, “void();” can hardly be said to be a surprising release. But for those unfamiliar, Access to Arasaka can open up some interesting aural vistas.

[8.5/10]

— Miguel de Sousa