It’s not inaccurate to say that Louis Carnell once made dance music as Visionist—sort of. The London producer has long preferred to exist in the in-between spaces and the darker outer realms, and even when his music pulsed with the wonky rhythms of UK bass music, it often veered closer to the deconstructionism of Arca at her most confounding. “The Fold” removes any such pulses or throbs that previously occupied Visionist’s music. Employing Louis Carnell’s voice in a proper lead vocal context, rather than sampled in countless and increasingly alien layers, with guest vocal contributions from Circuit des Yeux‘s Haley Fohr, “The Fold” is a stark and gentle work of haunting intimacy.
Carnell returns to a refrain of “birdcage of mine,” reflecting a kind of self-protective mechanism, but no Visionist song has ever sounded so vulnerable and exposed. It’s gorgeous and devastating, immaculately crafted yet feels like the slightest impact could shatter it into a million pieces. Fragile or not, it’s stunningly powerful.
From A Call to Arms, out March 5 via Mute
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.