Qurious is the surprising collaboration between a hip-hip producer/sample collagist (Mike Netland) and a vocal texturist/muli-instumentalist (Catherine Quesenberry). Since winter 2009, the pair has taken up casting a sonic net over the patrons of the Atlanta and Athens music scenes.
Whether from headphones or on stage, one is inevitably caught spellbound. The siren-like vocals which lay atop the depths of keyboard/sample-based aural tapestries capture intellects and sway those fleshy physical forms into dance. With compositions as various and interesting as their subject matter, Qurious challenges audiences to follow them through the melodic looking-glass, venturing into a more cerebral listening experience.
Summoning nature-inspired soundscapes in their premiere concept-album: Planet Plant, the group built an enthralling narrative of terrestrial imagery encapsulated in otherworldly vision. The piece served as a brilliant introduction to the band and landed them a Creative Loafing title: Best Ambient Composers of 2011. Keeping things inquisitive as always, the group can be expected to evolve their enigmatic and sexy brand of auditory escape.
“Void Vanishing” showcases Qurious taking their sound to the next level.
“Void Vanishing” nine tracks at first listen sound much darker and damper than “Planet Plant”, but upon further listens one will realize that “Void Vanishing” is more refined and lush. Deep synthesizer explorations have resulted in intricate beats and melodies meshed with exploratory textural environments.
Release DateNovember 20, 2012
I’ve only listened to the new, forthcoming Qurious record twice, but it’s already one of my favourite albums to come out this year. A bit farther down the ambient rabbit hole than this duo’s previous efforts, Void Vanishing is a cathedral of texture. So many distinct pieces are weaved together perfectly to build an ethereal blanket of sound.
On its third album Void Vanishing, the duo of Mike Netland and Catherine Quesenberry continues to create uniquely Qurious atmospheric sounds. The dreamlike electronic soundscapes Netland conjures are the perfect backdrop for Quesenberry’s sleepy vocal delivery, which sounds as if it’s being emitted from some distant place only to float in at the perfect moment. The allure begins with “Gaida,” an enchanting cacophony of organ and ethereal singing that melds right into “Wunderkammer,” with its more distinct beats and lyricism. “Rubies” pulsates out of an atmospheric abyss to gradually become one of the album’s most pop-structured songs before dissipating into an airy breakdown that flows right back into the song’s framework. Much of Void Vanishing (namely songs like “Gears” and “Rima”) are reminisent of nursery rhymes sung by a fairy while “Gold” and “Termina” have a Devo-meets-Kraftwerk urgency that provides something more upbeat than the rest of the album. But whether it’s the ambient instrumentalism of “Pactolian” or the abstract arrangement of “Rima,” Qurious is adept at aural experimentation always on the verge of evaporating but never completely fluttering away. Much like those lucid moments between sleeping and waking, Void Vanishing‘s electronic pulse is always pumping just enough to keep Quesenberry’s feather-like afloat.