The South London artist born Louis Carnell broke during a period of experimentation in UK music when, with the disintegration of the dubstep scene, emerging producers began looking to juke and Chicago house for inspiration. A pair of EPs on Lit City Trax (and a collaboration with Fatima Al Qadiri) in 2013 and ’14 introduced Visionist’s minimalist take on fractured R&B and liquid grime, establishing him as a leading voice in new-wave UK soundsystem culture.
On ‘Safe’, Visionist sculpts and extends that signature into new terrain and makes his most personal statement yet. Distilling his influences down to a sparse palette of manipulated folk, pop and R&B acapellas, icy synths, and metallic drum samples, he plays off ever-present anxiety and his own battle not to let it overwhelm him. “Comfort, protection, salvation—this is what we search for,” he says. “We are taught that a life of no worries is better for us, and therefore we try to create one that is ‘Safe.'”