Cryosleep is the debut album from Null + Void, the alias of prolific New York producer Kurt Uenala. It’s an album of contrasts and tension, where darkness is pierced by blinding light, and where moody new wave bleeds into stark electronics. In one moment, joyful memories give way to isolation and regret, and in the next, Cryosleep explores the catharsis of crowded dancefloors. Throughout the record, Uenala matches his dynamic production with incredible vocalists — from Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan and the inimitable Shannon Funchess, to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Big Pink. Null + Void’s take on dark pop meshes with his love for Detroit electro, poignant synth melodies, and cold atmospheres.
With the cinematic opener “Falling Down” and brooding instrumentals like “Come To Me”, Cryosleep can feel like the soundtrack to a lost space epic. No doubt, the album evokes Blade Runner, dystopian landscapes, and the splendor of far-off galaxies. As Uenala puts it, Cryosleep is inspired by “classic sci-fi stuff,” images of futuristic machines sustaining humans frozen in a dreamstate. The melancholy “Foreverness” explores what they might be thinking: “A collection of fragments, memories of a life lived—preserved, but incomplete and jumbled.” Meanwhile, “Into The Void” paints a peaceful, otherworldly picture, “like soaring towards a white light.” Lead single “Asphalt Kiss” sounds like a frenzied chase scene through rain-slick streets, while the upbeat “Paragon” zips like a bullet train over lush, alien scenery.
But for all of its widescreen beauty and world-building, Null + Void’s debut album also thrives on emotional songwriting and stylish versatility. Uenala dips his beloved old-school genres in chrome, giving them a contemporary, high-gloss sheen. Dave Gahan’s singular voice brings a classic edge to “Where I Wait,” a stunning song about hope and uncertainty. “I wrote it with Dave in mind,” Uenala says of his frequent collaborator. “He wrote the melody and lyrics soon after he was sick, which I think influenced the reflective tone.” The song, which also features Sharin Foo of The Raveonettes, shines among Cryosleep ‘s unforgettable pop excursions, alongside the quietly catchy “Take It Easy” and the harrowing “Hands Bound”. Uenala envisioned the “larger than life” voice of Shannon Funchess amidst frantic beats and gothic bells, and she brings undeniable power to “Hands Bound”. In awe of her presence, the producer says, “Shannon sings her lyrics about dominance and control with scary conviction.”
The title Cryosleep perfectly accentuates what Null + Void expresses throughout his first record. “It’s about the desire to keep loved ones alive beyond their lifespan,” he explains, alluding to the personal life experiences that color this music. “And if you tapped into that frozen person and scanned their last thoughts, their final farewell, this is what might come out.” To experience Cryosleep is to enter the many worlds of the subconscious, vibrant realms of hidden shadows, lost memories, and the mesmerizing unknown.
“A stunning work of discord and juxtaposition. The sweet vocal melodies and seemingly romantic message is laced atop an eerie electronic feeling. Uenala’s meticulous production brings the truth of the song’s nature to light. (Billboard)
“Thumping electropop with creepy horror/sci imagery” (Stereogum)
‘Cryosleep’ is combining oldschool vibes with contempoary electronic music and offers a range of unique vocal features. (Ellenwood)
“Wow, what a unique, interesting LP. Absolutely loving it. Such a refreshing change of pace. Beautiful engineering, as well.” (DJ Mag)