The EP itself, which contains five tracks coded using generative software, lacks the visual element but retains the spidery sound palette and fascinating, slantwise logic of Bell's music. Sometimes he seems to be responding to existing styles. Opener "Trying To Control The Four Winds," in particular, sounds like recent efforts to dismantle grime, only Bell is using a different set of tools. (The title—a good one for a track that uses generative processes—was derived from the I Ching, as were the others.) But it mostly seems pointless to look for familiar reference points in Bell's world—only Autechre have explored similar alien zones.
Bell's disorientating rhythms tend to be paired with chord material that frays and glitches as if disintegrating in multiple dimensions. Sometimes the effects can be quite meditative: "The Well"'s chords are gorgeous fluid shapes that pool under dubby drums, while "Transforming A Fault" is built around wandering, guitar-like tones. But mostly Empty Lake tends toward overload. On "A Deluge," freefalling drums collide with glitchy synth work in repeated viscous pileups. On "Surface Waters Flow Together," Bell's mutating rhythms fight to be heard over chords that gleam bright and hard like polished metal.