Adrian Younge calls The Electronique Void an academic album, by which he means it is both instructional and informational. There's a problem at the heart of it, a woman who's been told that she's loved, but she doesn't recognize that, can't feel it, may have heard it all before, may be worrying about the wrong things. Jack Waterson, long a guitarist in Younge's band, plays the role of narrator, sounding professorial and rather superior as he lays out for the woman where she's erred. That vocoder you hear is Adrian, talking to her on a subterranean level, the way an artist must.
Music, especially electronic music, reliant as it is on abstraction and unrepentant as it is about hijacking your physiological responses to tempo and rhythm and dynamics, is a way to get there without going through it. Electronic music as practiced and developed by pioneers like Dick Hyman and Raymond Scott and Wendy Carlos is precise and intentional. In making his first electronic album, Younge took his cues from them, reminding a contemporary audience what a synthesizer, deep in its heart, really could be.
The lady of The Electronique Void, only ever seen through a man's eyes, who's being told what to do by him, sounds trapped by her history and by her position, her ancestors' trauma echoing through her lineage and booming out of her as a phobia, distrust, misapprehension, rational response to a fucked up situation. Waterson's text here seems to say that if his character could go back in time, catch her before the damage was done, she would be able to love. And that's reasonable. Don't get hooked. Don't do wifey shit for a fuck boy. Don't let it go to your head, no. It's also possible he has no idea what he's talking about. The lessons for men in The Electronique Void are unspoken but plain as day.
This music is an urgent tutorial. Adrian Younge looks at us and sees the frontline of a crisis, something we only have time to triage right now. This isn't romantic and it isn't about settling down. This is the fight of our lives: how to love.