Rog Mogale & Alex Skan – Void Acoustics

You might recognise the masterminds behind Void Acoustics from a tradeshow floor, an Ibiza super club or the dancefloor of 1990s rave. With a legacy so firmly rooted in dance music, when Emma Davidson sat down with Rog Mogale and Alex Skan, it became very apparent that the die-hard dancing duo’s past parties had exuded Void’s vision.

Founded in 2002, Void Acoustics has been at the forefront of the innovative loudspeaker design market for almost 10 years. Breaking down the common ‘black box’ audio-style conventions through the creation of gloriously abstract works of art, the company has brought a whole new perspective to its products and the wider industry – supplying international clubs, bars, restaurants and music venues with audio systems that look as good as they sound. Spearheaded by long-term friends and retired ravers, Rog Mogale and Alex Skan, Void Acoustics has had a journey full of fond memories, seeing late nights into early mornings and possessing a mischievous creativity that, for some in the industry, is anxiously ignored.

The early lives of both Rog and Alex weren’t necessarily geared towards audio, or even heavily rooted in music, for that matter, but both knew very early on that a career set in sound was for them. “It’s a weird thing,” explained Rog. “I’ve always loved audio from a very young age, but my family weren’t really into it at all. I came from a strict, medical background, so my parents would have music on in the house, but there wasn’t a huge emphasis on it. I used to play drums and, at three years old, I’d be drawing circles on boxes and making them look like loudspeakers, connecting them to other boxes. My parents would just look at me and say: ‘what are you doing, Rog?’ – their generation was just entirely different. There was something about music and sound that really got me, though. I don’t think you pick a career in life, I think it picks you – and audio definitely picked me.”

There was something about music and sound that really got me, though. I don’t think you pick a career in life, I think it picks you – and audio definitely picked me.

“It was definitely not a conscious thing, like Rog,” furthered Alex. “My Dad was very much an electronic hobbyist – he was an intellectual. He worked for a computer company and, as you can imagine, it was very different to what you’d understand a computer company to be nowadays. He had a room that was full of electronic projects, and, as a child, I was naturally very curious, so I’d mess around with stuff and choose records from his collection to record on these random pieces of equipment. From then on, I became passionate about music and I really got into the dance scene when that came to the UK in the late 80s.”

The UK music scene of the late 80s / early 90s became an astonishing time for popular culture. With a turbulent political and social climate as a backdrop, young people embarked on what is widely known as the ‘second summer of love’, where dance music, specifically the acid house genre, gripped a struggling nation with repetitive beats and 24-hour parties that created a safe space for creative expression and provided an escape from the established norms. It was where tribes were formed, where like-minded individuals felt relaxed enough to be themselves, and, also, where Rog and Alex first became fully immersed in extroverted audio.

“Acid house came along and completely changed everything,” said Rog. “No one gave you hassle about getting into clubs and you were free to just go mad and have the best time ever, but the sound systems at the time were pretty bad. Audio requirements weren’t particularly high – it was more about being seen on the dancefloor, rather than being heard. I wanted to change this, and, at the time, I had quite a lot of hire equipment that I’d collected, so I started to help out with some sound in clubs across London. I did one club called ‘Whiskies’ and then it just took off – within a month I had over 20 clubs!”

Read the full interview in our latest issue below –