Updated: Jan 28, 2021
Released in back in April of this year, Old Man Mike’s Supervoid 2 is an album that experiments with sound in a very extreme sense. Throughout the album, there is the use of all types of uncomfortable sounds including harsh and cacophonous percussion, pads, and sound effects that are pitch-shifted to incredible extremes, and lots of general weirdness that is difficult to describe. All of this weirdness unfolds in the course of the nearly ninety-minute runtime that takes the listener through a variety of strangeness that sounds like it could be the backdrop for an alien ritual that a human could not comprehend.
The album opens up with Greene, Arizona; a track that begins with a dark ambient feel but quickly introduces the listener to the cacophony that defines many of the tracks on this album. A soft muted bell sound is consistent through the track as the shifting and harsh, yet sparse percussion rages on and eventually introduces a sound that resembles a theremin that is coming down off a four-day binge. This track effectively introduces the theme of the entire album: ambient sounds that are driven to their extremes of pitch and distorted or bitcrushed into a particular kind of harshness.
Not all moments in the album are so harsh and unforgiving though. With the almost mid-album track Mariner-9, we are treated to a different kind of harshness that doesn’t rely on the aforementioned cacophonies of percussion. Instead, we are given a much more sparse track that involves some rather obscure synth work that must involve all manner of intricate knob twisting. Something resembling a percussive rhythm can be heard, though it is pitch-shifted down to such an extreme that it may as well be snare filled with thick sludge.
Supervoid 2 is, for lack of a better term, a very weird album. While listening, I couldn’t help but hear moments where I was sure that a synthesizer was crying out in pain but being drowned out by a sampler that was enjoying the punishment far too much. If you are looking for something that will confuse you and make you wonder “what is that sound?” then Old Man Mike has created exactly what you are looking for.