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Semibreve: Emptyset

The dark industrial duo chat to us about music as an art form ahead of their set at Semibreve Festival this weekend

Semibreve Festival is a Portuguese four-day event geared towards exploring the worlds of art and music, featuring a specially-curated set of unique musicians and sound artists. Launched in 2011, the second Semibreve will take place in Braga and Guimarães from 2 to 6 of October 2012, aiming to unite the two capitals in innovation and research to culture and arts. They'll be hosting concerts, workshops, installations and works created by the students of the Master Program in Tecnology and Digital Art, University of Minho such as artists like Joanie Lemercier and Jacob Kirkegaard.

Playing alongside the likes of Roly Porter, Pole, Ben Frost and Vladislav Delay will be the art curator and techno musician duo Emptyset - made up of Paul Purgas and James Ginzburg known for his co-founding of cult dubstep label Tectonic with Pinch. Here we speak to the two about their dark, industrial sounds and the merging of art and music.

Dazed Digital: Do you set out to approach making music as a means of art?
Emptyset: While the craft of what we do sonically comes from a background in music production and engineering, our approach to and process of generating material is more a product of particular ways of considering narrative as well as the expanding possibilities of art production.  

DD: What has influenced your work and what inspires you?
 Primarily what has inspired us is the idea that analogue processes contain within them a potential for creating an instability and unpredictability that can give rise to a complexity which in turn can be used to explore structure, chaos and its relationship to the emergence of form from formlessness.

DD: Do you see your music as 'dance music'?
We started working together within the framework of more traditional techno forms but hit a brick wall creatively after a few years and we were only able to move forward by dropping the idea of making dance music altogether. While the ideas of pattern, structure and rhythm were the starting point for exploring the idea sets that we are engaged with, we are more interested in seeing how far from the grid and repetition rhythmic structure can go whilst still conveying a sense of coherency.

DD: How much did you know about Semibreve before being asked to play and what do you expect?
We were aware of its reputation, and we were very happy to be invited this year to contribute. It looks like an exceptionally well programmed festival and we are looking forward as much to checking out the rest of the programme as we are to performing. 

DD: What's next?
We are preparing an installation in London for the Architecture Foundation in November, and working on our third full studio album, which we hope to complete early next year.

Semibreve Festival: Braga and Guimarães, Portugal; 2-6 October, 2012