MISE EN ABYME
Mise En Abyme is the second full-length by Joni Void, the avant-electronica project of France/Canada producer Jean Cousin, following his acutely accomplished and acclaimed 2017 debut album Selfless (#8 Experimental Album of 2017 at Pitchfork). Consistent with Selfless, the primary materials for the sample-based cut-up songcraft on Mise En Abyme are Cousin's recordings of the voices of various friends. His self-professed body/voice dysmorphia, social disphoria, and search for the disembodied-yet-emotional transcendent subject, continues to compel the use of other (predominantly non-verbal) voices in the construction of these sublimely affecting electronic-minimalist compositions. Mise En Abyme is markedly more introspective and meditative than its predecessor, explicitly in search of intimacy and recuperative beauty. Grappling with a cascade of heartbreaks and discontinuities over the past year, Cousin also calls the new album a "time-travel experiment", as he culls sounds from devices and sources spanning childhood to the to retrieve and reframe subjective memories, histories and "regressions through former selves" via immersion in the evocative potential of the mostly wordless voices of others. The resulting song cycle is a remarkable blend of conceptual abstraction and highly emotive warmth, interiority, humanity and specificity.