“Shapes and Mirrors” is the second album by Kenyan instrumental composer Nemsey. Under the DE VOID moniker he sets out on an exposition of the nature of existence on his second outing. After releasing “A.G.E.S” in October 2017, Nemsey began the writing and composition for this new album in December that same year.Shapes and Mirrors is a 3 track album that begins with the title track “Shapes and Mirrors”, a frenetic piece that tries to conceptualise the conflict which the whole album is intended to address. Speaking to this question Nemsey himself points to these unsettling conditions:
“Shapes and Mirrors as I had indicated…is simply pointing to the results that occur primarily because of duality. Looking at how I designed the cover art, those elements describe it better than the words or the track itself”.
But while a picture may indeed be worth a thousand words, what is more interesting is that the title track does succeed in getting that message across, perhaps in ways that words or pictures never can. If we are to address our minds to the state of our own being then we may begin to wrap our heads around this. When listening to “Shapes and Mirrors” we are reminded of the our frantic internal struggles, like two melodies opposed yet existing in a binding communion. The effect of that struggle may be either a balance or chaos, like two forces pulling and wreaking havoc in different directions. As a consequence the state of things become marred and unrecognizable, save for the shadows that speak to an older, much more graceful establishment.
The album art gives off a grave tone, with shattered glass, chains and dead ghastly trees. It is the work of extraordinary vision and decisiveness which circles back perfectly with the themes and general feel of the tracks. It is curious what inspires this sort of expression and the answer does not lie far off:
“I visited a nearby forest, which when I was a kid, was terrifyingly beautiful, but no longer as by human hands, which inspired the cover art, that act of destruction…I lightly hint that, the instrumentals, however existing online, are very personal. Each time I get down to those instruments, it’s not the outcome that matters most, but how it builds up at that very moment”
And in that same vein of personal engagement, Nemsey’s DE VOID takes a step further with the final track, “The Hunt”, an extended cover of Wolfheart’s single by the same name. It is not just a cover but a composition which in Nemsey’s words “relies on the tracks (Wolfheart’s The Hunt) melody lines”.
“Tuomas Saukonnen is just one of my greatest inspiration and the hunt was basicallly the first track i ever listened to by Wolfheart and has been my favorite ever since. Now having the tools to mess around, I decided to try playing it, and after the result turned satisfying I decided to put it out there.”
Shapes and Mirrors is now available for unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more for $2.