Question: What is noise artist K.K. Null doing on an electronica label? Answer: An electronica album. Peak of Nothingness is indeed noticeably different than the man's regular production, which usually veers toward abrasive guitar soundscapes. As usual, tracks have remained nameless and no details are given as to the how and why, but one can hear how much the music owes more to electronics than guitar. Computer programming (possibly in the MAX/MSP environment) takes center stage on this release, some cuts actually diving right into Mego and Raster-Noton's ponds -- yes, that glitchy. Nevertheless, it remains good old Null: disquieting, uncomfortable, intelligent, too harsh to be ambient, but not violent enough to be harsh. Some pieces (like the 11th) evoke the quieter side of Merzbow. More importantly -- and despite its unusual character -- the album works well as a whole and, the initial surprise overcame, delivers a mesmerizing listening experience in which the advances of late-'90s experimental electronica are given a warmer, more human touch. Reverb and analog effects provide the warmth, the tortured feelings buried in Null's music, and the humanity -- just so you don't expect something lighter.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by François Couture