Meet Void Comp.
If you love the atmospheric indie-electronic
work of artists like James Blake and Thom Yorke, chances are you’ll love Void
The Canadian singer/producer/multi-instrumentalist (who goes by the real name of David Julé) specialises in creating hypnotic soundscapes out of frosty nocturnal synths and faraway sighed-out vocals.
I first discovered the
artist back in 2021 when I heard his captivating single ‘Come My Way’. I loved
the slow cruising pace of it combined with the late-night-drive lyrics like ‘move
out the lane’. It sounded both excitingly futuristic and nostalgically retro (particularly the synth solo!).
The musician’s latest EP Metropol sees him to experiment with his moody hypnotic sound. This time there are tracks like ‘Reflector’ with live drums and guitar for a more organic sense of etherealism. Meanwhile, tracks like ‘Go Slow’ continue to use the same cold heavy electronica while playing around with some spine-tinglingly haunting chords and melodies. You can stream the EP below.
Comp was a pizza what toppings would it have?
cheese, black olives and pineapple (that's right)
EP Metropol is fantastic. I love the cold atmosphere created
by many of your synths. How do you make these synths sound so cold?
I create a blank
patch and kind of just mess around until I find something that sounds cool. I
rarely use stock sounds; I always try to make it my own. I'm hugely inspired by
the synth sounds of Thom Yorke, James Blake and Rufus Du Sol, so I bought a
Prophet 08 a few years ago, which is the same synth that they use. Synths are
cool because you can make them sound unlike any other instrument. Some people
are put off by synths because they think it sounds too artificial or alien, but
I try to lean into those sounds. Sometimes I think of a material then try to
imagine if it was a sound, what would it sound like - like a sheet of metal or
synth riff of all time?
It has to be 'Everything In Its Right Place’ by Radiohead. That synth intro is timeless.
musical artists are you most inspired by?
All the ones I
mentioned earlier - Radiohead and Thom Yorke's solo stuff, James Blake, Rufus
Du Sol, as well as Lorn, Men I Trust, Khruangbin and Led Zeppelin. I'm also
very inspired by solo musicians who write and record all the parts themselves,
like Mac DeMarco or Kevin Parker of Tame Impala, and have taken that same route
for my own music. I did have help from a local drummer Benn Kimmis for the
acoustic drum parts on 'Reflector'.
A lot of
your lyrics seem to be influenced by challenges and difficulties in your
life. What draws you to this subject matter?
I feel like I use songwriting as a kind of self-soothing mechanism, and by writing down and expressing some of the things I'm feeling I'm better able to acknowledge and overcome them. Most of my lyrics are self-directed. To me music is a very emotional experience and feels most potent when dealing with some of the more negative or distressing aspects of life. Not that I don't ever feel happy or anything, I just seem to feel like writing music a bit more when I'm not feeling completely positive.
‘High Relief’ was
inspired by the isolation and anxiety you felt when moving to Edmonton. How are
you finding life in Edmonton now?
I'm liking it. It's not
quite the same artistic hub as Vancouver is (which is where I lived for over
four years and started my music career) but it's much more affordable and still
a big city. I need to live somewhere where I can afford to live on my own, so I
can work on music as much as I want without having to work around roommates or
family members. I like to work in solitude without anyone else around, which is
getting harder with the rising cost of living in Canada, but I'm able to make
it work here.
meaning of your name ‘Void Comp’? The only reference I could find online was
this League of Legends site, which I’m certain is not related… https://www.metasrc.
Haha no I've noticed
that myself, but it's actually a reference to the Voight-Kampff test from
Blade Runner. It's the test they use in the movie to determine if someone's a
replicant or human. Void Comp is easier to spell though, and it's the way I
heard it when Harrison Ford says it in the movie. I spent a long time trying to
decide which name to use. I didn't want to use my real name because I like the
idea of having a kind alter-ego to release music under, it can let you create a
whole new concept and world tied to your music.
for your song ‘Just Eyes’ uses footage from an obscure sci-fi movie
called Quest by Saul Bass, which I’m very intrigued by! How
did you stumble across this movie?
I just stumbled across it randomly on YouTube. I like going down rabbit holes searching for obscure movies and visuals. I'm always looking for potential music video ideas, and I had just found out about Saul Bass. He has such a strong visual style, and I was immediately drawn to his cinematography. I also used clips from his movie Phase IV as a music video for my song 'In Circles'.
topic of sci-fi movies, what are your favourite sci-fi films?
My dad loves sci-fi
and introduced me to some of the classics at a pretty young age. Blade
Runner, Alien and The Terminator all made a big impression on
me. The cold, late 70's - 80's sci-fi aesthetic is such a cool and unique
style. Those movies also have some of the best soundtracks. Vangelis' Blade
Runner score is a masterpiece, with my personal favourite being the song ‘Memories of Green’. The descending piano part just pulls on my heart. Also, the
melancholic terminator theme song immediately stuck with me and has never left
have you been listening to recently?
I'm always exploring
and trying to find new music. Today I listened to the new Kylie Minogue single ‘Tension’
about 6 times. I've also recently just started listening to Aphex Twin - he's
one of those artists I'd always heard about but never really explored. I also
recommend BADBADNOTGOOD's newest album Talk Memory, as well as the
songs ‘Dropped In’ and ‘Fountainhead’ by Peacewithghosts.
only listen to five albums for the rest of your life. What are they?
1. Led Zeppelin - The
Song Remains the Same live album
2. Radiohead - A Moon
3. Massive Attack - Mezzanine
4. Khruangbin - Con Todo
5. J Dilla - Donuts
the future hold for Void Comp?
I'm working on an
album at the moment and plan to release it next year. I'd also like to do some
live shows. I haven't performed any of these songs live yet and am eager to see
how it transfers to a live setting.