Empirical Distress – Horizons

Empirical Distress – Horizons

(Virescence Records, 2021-08-31)

Often inspired by the energetic and psychic environment to which all life is connected, mesmerising combinations of sounds are used to create impressions of the artist’s inner world. Empirical Distress’ one is made of nature – local or distant, “in a galaxy far far away” – and his creative process, at the source of borderless music, remains very intuitive. It encompasses a conscious will “to break the chains”, resulting from anxiety, sorrow, pain and also from the relentless judgements, so solidly anchored in human nature.

Empirical Distress’ style is dominated by a deep vibe with ranges from dark ambient to downtempo ritualistic and trippy tracks, which aim to give the listener a profound experience. A certain mystery surrounds the Portuguese artist, who doesn’t reveal much about him. He started producing in 2020 under this alias, with remarked releases on Italian label No Way Records, South Korean label Artscope, Belgium label Aarden Records, Spanish label Circular Limited, and for the second time now on Colombian label Virescence Records.

Having a mutual interest in the transformational process, Empirical Distress and Virescence are developing a great collaboration together. For Virescence: it’s rooted through the wheel of life found within plants, and both the artist and the label transcend what the eye can’t see. They both initiate the transformational process by expanding the conscientiousness of the listeners through music, while connecting them to the surrounding details.

The EP “Horizons” conceptualises the daily position of the sun over the horizon, which is never exactly the same in its infinite cycle. The first track “Terraphuge”, dark and distorted, dissolves the first known border and “Cornelia Galaxy” sends the listener far beyond the horizon, for a cosmic journey that promises to be particularly trippy.

Passing both ambient pieces, an intense beat kicks off in “Hydrangea Lost”. We are wondering if the title has any link with the artist Hydrangea, who showed some support on Empirical Distress’ EP on No Way Records. Interestingly, no matter what, both “Cornelia” and “Hydrangea” are Latin names of plants, which is a kind glance to the label. 

Remaining on the album are two endless horizons representing an experience of death. Efficient percussions are introduced in “Easy Go Easy Death”, followed by “Death Should Tear Us Apart”, closing the album with a hypnotising dark siren.

Having found joy in life by continuously opening up to new horizons, the Portuguese artist ultimately aims to inspire the listener to experience similar freedom. “Being free” means “having no border”, in its original sense, which – in the artist’s message – could be extended to “having at least horizons”, “opening goals to reach”, for a happy constructive life.


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