SHARI VARI'S VOID VISION - GREAT EMERGING RETROWAVE TALENT!
Void Vision, I will admit, is somewhat of an enigma. I have been able to find out very little about the project, except that it is one girl and some synths. Apparently a few singles have been released, and this effort, “Sub Rosa,” is the girl’s debut solo album. Floating gently down to us out of relative quiet and obscurity, the album is not easily classified, but definitely fits into the broad spectrum of retrowave music.
Void Vision appears to be the solo project of one Shari Vari, native of Philadelphia. I made efforts to contact her, but Shari has remained silent. Four years ago, she released a 7” I have been unable to track down, and a version of “Sour” (on this album) was released as a single last year on Mannequin Records. According to scattered reports, Vari has been performing live in the northeastern USA, predominantly in the Big Apple. Based on this showing, we can only hope to hear more from her in the future.
The sound itself is vaporous, even spectral at times, but never seems to lack substance throughout. Ghostly, choral tones hold up the low and mid ranges, while low-bitrate synths tumble forth melody lines rife with arpeggio and scalar play. Human vocals are prevalent, a female voice, darkly haunting but still oddly soothing in their softness. Percussion varies from high, tight electro drums to deeper, throbbing drums on tracks like “Sour.” Much of the substance is undeniably 80s-inspired, with a gentle twist of modernity to it. A dark tone, hopeful in some places, solemn in others, sets the norm for these tracks. The music is faintly romantic, good for brooding, and could even take its place on a dance floor. Though it lacks the bursting energy of much of the genre’s albums, the beats are dynamic and full-bodied.
I have held back on detailing individual tracks, as they tend to flow almost seamlessly together; the album stands firmly as one continuous work, without seeming tedious or boring.
Using our new grading system, I would grant this album 8 out of 10 stars solid. It is a refreshing exploration of the mellow side of darkness, a lovely contrast to the horror-film-inspired synth music with which I am normally smitten in this genre. Lying somewhere between chill and gloomy, it is excellent kick-back or afterparty listening material.