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 Comp.
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.
If Void Comp was a pizza what toppings would it have?
Pepperoni, ham, cheese, black olives and pineapple (that's right)
Your 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 bubble wrap.
Favourite synth riff of all time?
It has to be 'Everything In Its Right Place’ by Radiohead. That synth intro is timeless.
Which 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.
The video 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'.
On the 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 my brain.
What music 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.
You can 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 Shaped Pool
3. Massive Attack - Mezzanine
4. Khruangbin - Con Todo El Mundo
5. J Dilla - Donuts
What does 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.