Optic Sink is the new project of Natalie Hoffman, best known for her work in NOTS, where she is joined on percussion by Ben Bauermeister. The new project was born in 2018 when NOTS were taking a break and Hoffman turned to her four-track recorder to capture some basic ideas. She soon took the project into the live performance space, where she and Bauermeister fleshed out the skeletal ideas. They have now taken the next step and recorded an album – it’s called Optic Sink and is coming out on October 2 through Goner Records.
The album is said to take inspiration from filmmakers Ridley Scott and Fritz Lang, as well as the Bauhaus art movement. As such, the music of Optic Sink is cinematic despite its lo-fi sound, and difficult to hem into a single genre. There are psychedelic elements, but made with a DIY style and a no-wave ethos, all giving it a unique hue.
The album’s lead single, “Personified”, ripples with sci-fi paranoia as Hoffman’s tense vocals echo out over stretched synth whirrs. “Can’t survive” she repeats several times throughout the frantic track, the interwoven currents of metallic melody rising and falling like her own panic that she has to keep forcing back down inside her. Optic Sink may only use a few basic elements, but on “Personified” they’ve created a whole dystopian world.