On the Radar: Gemini Voice Archive – Paradoxical Chronicles (plus interview)

The enigmatic duo return to Soma with their debut album. The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight talks NASA, astronomy, and, of course, techno.

As Gemini Voice Archive release their debut long player, Paradoxical Chronicles, The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight takes a listen, and talks outer space, famous astronomers, and techno influences.

It is difficult for us to express how excited we were when Gemini Voice Archive‘s debut long-player arrived here at The Waveform Transmitter. Building upon the scientific themes that they have expounded over the past two years, on their previous releases over at Soma, the mysterious Spanish duo are back with quite the (big) bang (pun unashamedly intended).

Paradoxical Chronicles is one of those albums that is a joy to listen to from the off. The space-techno theme that underpins the very foundations of the record offers listeners all manner of sonic exploration, transporting them via a series of inter-dimensional transmissions to the nether regions of our galaxy, and way WAY beyond.

The LP kicks off with the haunting Zero Curviture, which conjures images of orbiting Kepler-like exoplanets, staring down at the tundra below while tomographical instruments aboard your craft take high-definition images of the celestial body’s internal composition.

The following track, A Significant Proportion of the Speed of Light, sees the listener traversing the cosmos at high speed, as huge strobes of luminescence shoot past the viewing pane of the spacecraft in which GVA have placed us.

Before Everything Was Complete Chaos takes us back to the very centre-point of where the universe began, the primordial soup of sonic texture mirroring the moments before totality was born, this reflected perfectly in the epic build that the track offers from the moment it sets out.

The minimal drum programming in the track is layered with an undulating synth line which grows in volume and intensity as those first particles of the macrocosm begin to crash together and we witness the first stars being born.

Our guides then take us on a voyage around the cosmos. Framauro’s Plains is a soaring ode to the topographical features of our nearest celestial body (the moon), named after the famed Italian cartographer, Fra MauroQuarks breaks things down to subatomic levels, as granular synths reflect the minutiae that make up everything around us.

Traces of Chromacity and Interaction of a Parallel Universe, offer further insight into the duo’s love for all things astronomical, as reverberating synths, whooshing pads and fast-paced percussion swirl around the sensory space. Cosmic Chronic continues this theme before we are plunged into the hive-mind of an omnipotent sentient being in Singularity, as distorted radio signals relay hidden messages from our universal overlord.

Light and Matter brings us back to our space travel as we are once again sent upon an upwards trajectory, before Reason and Consciousness encourages us to inspect our internal universe, a theme furthered by The Illusion of Knowledge begs the question about whether or not we really know what is out there.

Final track, Uncertainty Principle is somehow reminiscent of the huge rotating dimensional gate present in the film Event Horizon, which offers a glimpse of a nightmarish world with which none of us are familiar and yet is somehow known to our subconscious.

On a whole, the album is incredibly cohesive. It clearly takes influence from the mechanical nature of Detroit techno and adds to it by the incorporation of galactic themes. We look forward to hearing more material from Gemini Voice Archive.

In the meantime, Ste Knight spoke to the duo about their influences and what brought them together in the first instance. You can read what they had to say, below.

Waveform: Hi GVA, thank you for joining us for a chat. You’re quite the enigmatic pairing, so tell us a little bit about how this cataclysmic meeting of minds came to fruition.

Gemini Voice Archive: Hello! It´s a pleasure to take part in this interview with you.

So, the truth is that we already had known each other for many years, it was just that we had both taken different paths. After that, one day we met by chance again and we recognized, we had the same conception about techno music. For this reason, we decided to create a new project: GVA.

Waveform: And your name, Gemini Voice Archive, what was the inspiration behind that?

Gemini Voice Archive:Well, as you can see apart from techno, we love science and we think that both things are connected – they went hand in hand. Our name comes from some missions carried out by NASA many years ago.

Waveform: You’ve been a part of the Soma stable for the past two years, now, releasing eight EPs on the label. How does it feel to be a part of such an influential imprint on the underground scene?

Gemini Voice Archive: We have carried out our work only with Soma, except a remix that our friend Gregor Tresher asked us to produce, and then realizing an album in a label such as Soma. It´s a very important thing and especially when you are a great fan of their sound.

At first, when we sent our first demos, we did not think we were going to get a reply. However, it was a great surprise when we received an email back in which they told us that our work was fantastic and that they had great plans for us. We were full of pride happiness and I don’t know …It´s hard to explain that of label that you have followed since followed since you were a child wants to sign your work.

Waveform: Your new album, Paradoxical Chronicles, explores and represent scientific themes. Not just in terms of the track titles themselves, which reference the likes of astrologer Fra Mauro, but also in terms of the sound. Are these themes something you initially set out to explore, and are they subjects that you are interested in outside of your music?

Gemini Voice Archive: Yes, of course, as we previously said, we love science and everything that has to do with the universe. It is a topic that we are all passionate about this is definitely something that makes you go deep in your thoughts, as when you work in a studio to create techno.

Waveform: There is definitely a nod toward Detroit in your productions. Can you tell us who influenced you from the Detroit Techno scene when initially defining how you would be shaping your sound?

Gemini Voice Archive: That’s right, we love Detroit Techno! We’re not exactly children, although we are still young (laughs). It’s hard to choose one or two Detroit artists to look up to, we could say many names like Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Jeff Mills, Kevin Saunderson, and many others. The truth is that we could choose all the artist as an influence, in what they represented, represent and will represent.

Nowadays Techno music is different, everything has changed so much, but we try to give that Detroit essence to our work, as it definitely marked our ability to see and understand Techno from its beginnings.

Waveform: Talk us through the process of producing your album. How did you put together such a coherent record? Each track works perfectly on its own or as part of the overarching theme of the record.

Gemini Voice Archive: Well, we are really happy with this album for many reasons. One obvious reason is that this is our first album and another one is that it is with a label that we love, such as Soma.

We have been producing this album for long time, working on it for over a year. We know that many producers make albums in a month or less, but that´s not the way we work. Each sound is carefully designed to be where it is… and that work takes time to reflect, to understand what you are doing.

You then have to listen to it as a whole and edit everything once again so that is in sync. All these processes cannot be completed in a month or in a matter of days.

Waveform: Your productions suggest that you are well versed in putting together a rich sonic landscape. Is this a skill you transfer to your DJ sets, or do you prefer a different style when DJing?

Gemini Voice Archive: That is a great question. When producing we have 100% the same taste, but when performing there are differences. However, this is no bad thing.

On the contrary, we have different points of views and we can give the audience what they are looking for at each particular time, because all gigs and audiences are totally different.

Waveform: Your debut album is released on June 30th. What plans do Gemini Voice Archive have post-release? Is there anything else exciting in the pipeline?

Gemini Voice Archive: The truth is that we go on without thinking too much about the future. We would obviously love to work with Soma for life, but at the same time, we would love to explore other big labels from important artist such as Len Faki, Oscar Mulero, etc…

Waveform: Thanks again for talking to us, and best of luck with the album!

Gemini Voice Archive: Thank you so much. It´s been a pleasure to share with you. We would also like to thank some for teaching us in a part of their exclusive family in this way.

 Thanks as well to the people that follow and respect our work, on working hard on our sound.

Author: Ste Knight

Editor at The Waveform Transmitter. Lover of acid basslines, cavernous kick drums, and dark rooms. Cut his teeth to Surgeon's blistering techno assault at T-Funkshun in Liverpool and hasn't stopped for breath since.

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