One of modern music’s most elusive experimentalists, Visionist has been colouring the monochrome landscape of electronic production since his breakthrough EP I’m Fine in 2013, dissolving all manner of genres down in order to create work to which these terms no longer apply. His artistic signature is to manipulate vocal content into dense, highly fabricated melodies, human sound reconfigured into a stark and beguilingly alien sublime.
Picking up where I’m Fine left off, in 2015 he released his debut album Safe via PAN records – described as “a personal portrait of anxiety” it dealt head on with issues of mental health – at a time when the music industry was only just beginning to open up to the discussion – and was described by Pitchfork as “a statement that feels not just a flexing of experimental techniques, but something rich and human, too”. Further critical praise for Visionist has come from the likes of Resident Advisor, Crack, SPIN, The Guardian, and Rolling Stone, who cited him as an ‘artist to watch’ in 2016.
In 2017 Visionist returns with new album Value, released via Big Dada / Ninja Tune. It explores complex interweaving ideas of artistic value and self-worth, while building on the distinct sound of previous releases. The project also features creative collaborations with influential Belgian artist Peter De Potter – on the album artwork and zine and Daniel Sannwald on the artist shots.
Through the addition for the first time of his own vocals, Visionist continues to further explore a humanistic and intimate creation. Value’s opener, Self-, sees him reimagine the vocal treatment with rapid injections, followed by crescendos of abrasive rhythm and waltz-like melodies, providing a diligent insight into the rest of the album. It’s this cross-infection of sonic landscapes and unpredictable movements that constantly question ostracisation.
For his live shows he will be accompanied by Film-maker and A/V artist Pedro Maia. Maia is known for his specific interest in working with analog film and addressing image by analysing the beauty of its patina and how it fades away as it’s doubly temporal substrate. The visuals will be achieved in collaboration with Teri Varhol, whose interest in chaos and absurdity results in work that is original, disturbing and surreally beautiful.
“More than any of his peers, Carnell has succeeded in making a statement that feels not just a flexing of experimental techniques, but something rich and human, too” – Pitchfork
“Using the pitch-shifted vocals of UK garage, the dark futurism of British electronica and the DIY beats of grime and twisting it into fresh new shapes” – Dazed & Confused
“Cracked ambient frequencies teem with warped voices that can be cartoonish and alien at once, all abstracted stammers and sighs. Beats hit hard with a sense of creaking and grinding that makes the banging, when it happens (usually sparingly), all the more dynamic in the end” – Rolling Stone ’20 Great New British Artists to Watch’
|11/11/17||Visionist in Barcelona, ES||Mira Festival|