A musician, producer and sound designer based in Dublin, Ed Devane has previously stated his aim to invoke “paranoia, fear and claustrophobia in the listener”. New EP Room Full Of Empty People sounds up to the task: the follow-up to last year’s album Molten Membrane, it’s an abrasive, intense record where thumping percussion collides with high-pitched electronic squall.
Opening track ‘Wharf’ leads in with blown-out, distorted beats, shuddering bass and all manner of harsh, rasping electronic textures. After three-and-a-half minutes of this ear-abusing combination, the brief vocal contribution of Scurvy Lass – aka Niamh De Barra – almost seems like an afterthought, but it does add a certain atmospheric element to the mix.
The percussion becomes more rhythmic on second track ‘2C-me’, which is grimier in tone and more dancefloor-friendly in tempo, while ‘Technoblient’ combines an insistent, pounding beat with more paint-strippingly corrosive noise. Final track ‘Squib’ is perhaps the most compelling of all, its jarring static-fuzz-infused intro developing into a hypnotically layered composition anchored by pulsing bass. As dissonant as it is absorbing, Room Full Of Empty People is not for the faint of ear. File under uneasy listening.