Joni Void is the artistic persona of Montréal-based French-British producer Jean Néant (he/them), whose output and various projects showcase their interest in experimentation, improvisation, collaboration and multi-genre explorations. Self-described as ‘cinéma-tek/cameratronica’ music, the montage-based production of Joni Void incorporates elements of electronic and sample-based beats, rap & hip-hop, psychedelia, musique concrete, plunderphonics, ambient, drone, glitch, minimalism & electro-acoustic/improvised music. By way of their platform Everyday Ago, Joni Void have extended their sound practice into other collaborative and live-based projects, including releases and performances with artists N NAO, Sarah Pagé (as Page Vide), and Maya Kuroki, to name but a few.
Néant’s sound-world began developing in their early teens. A self-taught producer hailing from Lille, France, and operating under the moniker ‘johnny_ripper’, they displayed unprecedented dexterity with remixing and sampling, as well as a singular style of composition on piano, keyboards and other virtual instruments; engaging purely online with DIY artists-communities; with no knowledge of or intention of performing live, and limited knowledge of the music industry at large. Released in August 2011, Néant’s first official album Soundtrack for a film that doesn’t exist accurately describes their style and modus operandi, with 10 more albums self-released online under that moniker, over the next five years.
The johnny_ripper project shifted drastically when Néant moved to Montréal at the end of 2012, to pursue film studies. They found personal meaning and solace once they joined the fertile local music scene, and became involved in the organization of events at communal loft-venue The Plant. Néant began performing live after discovering the SP-404 sampler (which still functions as their main instrument), and eventually transitioned johnny_ripper’s name and piano-based soundtrack style to the current Joni Void moniker (with the blessing of beloved friend and The Plant accomplice Joni Sadler).
With this spirited transformation from cloistered virtual persona to highly engaged organizer and performer, Néant crafted Joni Void’s 2017 label debut Selfless, an auditory ‘out-of-body experience’ which demonstrated an increasing obsession with micro-sampling, aleatory composition, the history of cinema and the techniques of foley and film sound editing. The album was entirely constructed from found sources, rather than instrumental composition. Similar creative processes and production methods were applied to Void’s second album Mise en Abyme, released in 2019. Revolving around the artist’s existential trials and tribulations, the album describes an ‘inner body experience’ using a fusion of disparate elements and moods – the digital and organic, archaic devices and forward-thinking technologies, claustrophobic isolation and human warmth.
Amid a period of personal turmoil and as pandemic lockdowns gave way to the closing of cultural spaces and the interruption of musical events, Néant immersed themselves in their home studio and voluminous record collection, and began crafting their next album, a sound-poetry album entitled Everyday Is The Song. A whimsical and contemplative voyage through Walkman field-recordings and crackled cassette and vinyl samples, the album represents a return of sorts to the style and influences of johnny_ripper; as well as a follow-up to Joni Void’s Retrospective compilation, released digitally by Constellation in the summer of 2021.
22 Sep 2023 - Gatineau, QC @Les Plages (with NPNP Trio)
25 Sep 2023 - Toronto, ON @Tranzac Main Hall (support for Colleen)
28 Sep 2023 - Hamilton, ON @Fort Elgin (with An Shrub)
Contacts & Links
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