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Visionist Safe PAN Records


To deconstruct moulds, to reassess stylistic arcs, or to pervert from what is deemed ‘the norm’ can leave many artists exposed. Yet, for Louis Carnell, aka Visionist, his debut LP not only dismantles perceptions of form but reassembles them in his own austere image. Safe separates Visionist from context. Instead, it restrains you into its echo chamber, calamitous and anxious in its mutations.

Carnell habitually refers to his craft as some form of remedy to mental self-harm. His earlier work – 2013’s I’m Fine and later Can’t Wait – traversed in the familiar textures of grime yet introduced apparitional vocal samples to exhibit a notion of loss. Here, he remodels fragmented RnB harmonies over staggered percussion to connote an unbearable awareness. An anxiety so tangible it quivers.

Yet the frailty of Safe almost depends on its anarchy or its aggression; like the final recoil of a dying animal. Tracks like Tired Tears, Innate Fears and Safe cower from the weight of string patterns. Their sample-based constructions crumble in to some unique matrix of ideas and misery. The whole product screams allegiances with fellow electronic deconstructionists, Logos, Arca, Rabit, Murlo and Oneohtrix Point Never. But, with Safe, Visionist forcibly confronts his alien self, taking a form of music making and pillaging it to a state of malformation. He has transformed himself from grime’s acquaintance to its spiritual stranger. Safe is an outlander’s triumph.