LONDON’S musical scryer Visionist has announced details of a new album, A Call To Arms which, after his 2017 LP Value for Big Dada, will be his debut for Mute.
The album, which will be released come March 5th, sees a departure in aesthetic methods as for the first time he brings his own voice to bear on his lyrics, discarding the sampled vocals of his previous work.
A Call To Arms also hosts guest collaborators: we’ve got the “The Fold” herein, the track by way of which Visionist has announced his new record; you can hear the breathy, autumnal tones of Hayley Fohr raising the hairs on the ol’ neck on this first teaser for the album, entwined with a video employing footage of Jonathan Schipper’s 2016 installation, Cubicle, from the Rice Gallery in Houston, Texas.
Louis Carnell, aka Visionist, explains: “The song is about protection, usually a positive action – but not always.
“I see the action of folding as a form of safekeeping or the first step to ruin. A fold can also be a protection in numbers or what could be considered a lack of individuality.”
“Every birdcage should have a door that is controlled inside and out, it is not enough to be admired if you cannot admire yourself,” he concludes, wisely.
He expands on that forthcoming album: “With every project I want to test myself, so with this ethos, I expand the landscape of sound I have created over the years.
“On A Call To Arms I have furthered my musical direction in terms of collaboration in order to bring new layers of sonics, dynamics, energies and ideas.”
And the video? “I’ve been thinking a lot about, and acting on the notions of repetition, routine, control,” he says.
“I came across Schipper’s Cubicle exhibition a few years ago, so when we first went into lockdown, it came to mind. The Cubicle demands patience and seeks evolution. At the beginning of lockdown there was a lot of hope for new thought, but it was the creatives’ call for destruction under the old rule.”
There’s a deeper creative journey at work here. “My music very much reflects how my life has played out,” he reveals. 2015’s debut album, Safe dealt with his battles with anxiety while Value was defiant, built originally from anger, betrayal and anguish. Both of the albums teed up the place where Visionist is now.
A Call To Arms, then, is perhaps as much a rallying of the interior monologue: “I had to stop taking refuge in the premise of ‘people don’t want to understand me’ and focus on being the best communicator I can be,” he concludes.
Collaborators and guests on the album include not only Circuit Des Yeux’s Haley Fohr, but experimental artist KK Null, and Morgan Simpson of Black Midi, among many others.
Visionist and Copenhagen-based fashion label Heliot Emil have also launched the official A Call To Arms album capsule collection, available to pre-order via Visionist’s Bandcamp page; coupled with which he has launched a new Bandcamp subscription service.
Available in two tiers, it will provide subscribers with guaranteed access and discount to the Heliot Emil album capsule, all vinyl releases, the entire digital back catalogue as well as behind the scenes material, free access to DJ and live streams and (god-willing, one day soon) in-person events.
A Call To Arms will be released by Mute on March 5th on digital, CD and white vinyl; you can pre-order your copy here.