TOUCHING THE VOID – Love, longing and Loss (SubCulture Records)

  Van Muylem    11 mei 2015

Mark Warner and Andy Oppenheimer joined forces to form Touching the Void in late 2010. A first single, Parallel Lives, was released in 2012, and an EP, Obsession, in 2013. I discovered them with the Obsession EP and got hooked on the sound, the vocals bewitched me and reached my heart. Expect extremely sensitive ballads and retro 80’s sound. Be ready to shed a tear now and then!

Parallel lives (album version) has a great piano and vocals that sound so sensitive that it will touch an emotional part of your being. Fans of Diary of Dreams will think about Tears of laughter and will want this one immediately! This kind of song is what fans of emotional music want to buy and cherish and this is the reason why I’m such a fan of this band! Obsession is that one song who bewitched me a while ago. It still touches my body and soul, it still gives me goosebumps and will for sure be a classic one for me! It’s a great combination of great vocals and electronics.

In this together (album version) is yet another sensitive piano track with vocals moving you to shed a tear. I can imagine that lots of lighters will be emptied during this one and the room will be so quiet that you actually will be able to hear a mouse peeping. Fragment is stone cold synth pop track, filled with melancholia. Don’t expect happy things, get depressed and shoot yourself. Inspiration feels like a sad part of the 80’s global memory. The synths and drums recall a game/TV series called Airwolf, but turned into a more depressing sound. It’s clear that this band is not for the weaker upon us. Highbury Fields (album version) brings the return of the great piano and some longing to better times. The more poppy sound halfway doesn’t hide their trademark (the soul touching sound with a depressing layer).

Some about love comes in with I’ll Be Here. Choose between 2 person’s, there always be a looser in love this way … Nice things to sing about. Love, Longing and Loss is the main title track, with that great piano and bewitching vocals. A moment to be very quiet and think about your dreams and losses. Then and now sounds very introspective. I like the percussion and cherish Andy’s voice. Another highlight on this album and yet the last regular track!

We get 6 remixes of 4 original tracks. First one is the DM (Dark Minimal) remix by Rossetti’s Compass of Parallel lives, giving it a mysterious start and a more electronic vibe and dramatic feel. Technomancer Feat. Angst Pop gives Obsession a wider and well worked out synth, guitar + drums sound. The tracks gets lifted and feels like contemplating a touch of heaven.  Then and now has been reworked in the Machinista version.

The extra electronics gives it a warmer sound and an extra female voice (almost proving that a duet is possible). Fragment (Substaat Remix): more synths and more electronics and some changes on the vocals. It’s a great version, more into pop and with a positive vibe. Obsession gets the Desire remix by Digital Energy, changing it into a more poppy track with lots of synths and electronics. A great remix, changing the original into another direction. Final remix is In This Together by Love? And that is one of my favorite bands of the past year, working out a perfect new version with  wider and warmer sound.

Well I can conclude that this one is simply the best one in its genre and the remixes show another side of the tracks adding a new dimension to this pearl! Worth checking!