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The Nothing Machine - NMTRv2

Things are progressing at an alarming rate for The Technicians of The Nothing Machine. Back in 2011 we reported on their work on the Z+ Machine, part of a project (British Z+ Pinch Inertial Energy Program ) designed to probe the boundaries of Nuclear Fusion Technology in the hope of finding a solution to the world's future energy problems. Those experiments ceased after 6 months when investigations proved that they had ripped a spherical hole in the space/time continuum, resulting in a reconfiguration of the Z+ Machine which created a Nothing Containment Field (NCF). The initial operation of the machines resulted in various side effects experienced by those working on the project. The symptoms included premature ageing. The audio frequencies drawn in by the NCF which put the condition into remission were edited and refined to produce NMTRv1, allowing the Technicians to spend time away from the Machine without the symptoms returning too heavily in the medium term.

In 2013 The Nothing Machine Technicians were contacted by those working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN near Geneva, when readings of experiments echoed some of the anomalies that were seen in the data just before the disastrous Z+ Pinch Inertial Energy event in 2011. As a result, the Nothing Machine Technicians were asked to consult with the LHC Safety Assessment Group (LSAG) in Geneva to look at ways to avoid a similar catastrophe befalling their machine and to put steps in place to contain should the worst happen.

On arrival in Geneva, the Technicians found the same anecdotal stories of time-drift and audio hallucinations which were dismissed during the Z+ Pinch Inertial Energy Research. They immediately put into action an emergency plan, averting a larger scale disaster by setting up a dispersing version of the Nothing Containment Field (NCF) at the very centre of the 27km Collider ring to prevent the reality density peaking up to the catastrophic failure witnessed in their own experiment.

However, this meant spending increasing amounts of time away from the Nothing Containment Field back in the UK which was reducing most of the symptoms of their telomeric shortening to manageable levels. It was found that the off-setting effects of the Nothing Machine Therapy Recording (released as NMTRv1) were reduced as the year progressed which led to a serious deterioration in the health of the Technicians by the time they'd finished their consultation at CERN. Having now worked on a second Containment Field similar to the one in the UK, it was discovered that the signature energies of the field were completely different and that the CERN NCF had no measurable effect on recovering the health of the Nothing Technicians.

In a strange twist of synchronicity one of our last postings concerned World Fair by Human Greed, who imagined a 16th century string quartet transported to the 20th century where their faith is turned from God to science resulting in compositions devoted to entropy and the second law of thermodynamics. In a similar manner this second full length release from The Nothing Machine includes sounds "divined and actualised" by the anonymous Nothing Machine Technicians. This, however, isn't a grand act of divination, these are the sounds produced from The Technicians at work.

Like World Fair, NMTRv2 shares a fascination for drift and drone. Here the "Time Machines" of The Nothing Machine feature deep reverberations placed against light airy tones, capturing a feel of ghostly ambience. Yeah, on a base level, I suppose, you could refer to the ghost in the machine, but those hardworking Nothing Machine Technicians are fighting for survival. The soundscapes found on NMTRv2 are minimal and subdued but they belie a complexity where sounds and field recordings of The Technician's experiments morph into one expansive track of haunting atmospherics. Churning and whirring ambience, are occasionally offset by the crash and bang of the workings of The Nothing Machine and the vacuous echoing of the experiments within the warehouse sized research facility. Other times washes of ambient hum merge with tick-tock rhythms, glitches and skittering frequencies. Passages of hollow serene ambience are sometimes interspersed with wordless murmurings of machine readings by the anonymous Nothing Machine Technicians, known only by their number, augmented by ringing tones. As The Nothing Machine is continuously recalibrated the timbre and textures constantly change ensuring an ever-evolving shifting atmosphere. Amidst the clatter and atmospheric drift of NMTRv2 elements of the deep ambient excursions of Lustmord and much of the Cyclic Law label can be detected but you can also feel the cosmic chaos of Cyclobe circa The Visitors and the surreal abstract drone of Nurse With Wound. The Technicians may be scientists, but they certainly have a handle on producing sounds which resonate with post-industrial listeners.

Aside from suffering deteriorating health The Nothing Machine Technicians have also been beset by government funding cuts under the auspices of austerity, resulting in a reduction in staffing numbers from eight to six. However in a brave act of solidarity The Technicians agreed to reduce individual wages in order to maintain staffing levels, and to prevent the situation of Technicians being removed from the machines and the resulting detrimental effects on their health. And that's an act of solidarity, which can be matched by readers of these pages, as NMTRv2 has been released to the public for fundraising purposes. You can support the plight of the Nothing Machine Technicians by purchasing a copy of NMTRv2. For more information go to The Nothing Machine