Infernal Relations

Featuring : Holly Herndon

20JFG don’t usually read press releases.  Sorry PR people.  We usually print them out, cut them up, cast them in the air and watch as they assemble into new forms.  If these new forms are suitably demonic we post.  Who said taste had anything to do with it?

This one’s a bit different.  Having suitable absorbed Holly Herdon’s new album and having decided that the imp her press release had formed was pleasing to us, we were searching around for the artwork (which you can see in its glory up there ^).  It was at this point, while wrestling the mischievous imp that we saw this stuck to its scaly back:

“The laptop is the most intimate instrument we have at our disposal, engaging and absorbing our confessions and inspirations” says Herndon. “Its influence has both devastated and invigorated music as we know it. We’ve only just begun unlocking the possibilities at our fingertips. Those possibilities are what I work towards and against.”

Which is rather beautiful and in our more tech-utopian moments: quite moving.  We have lived through the assault on the instrument as appliance — seen countless Minimoogs shattered and broken on the battlefield — but the killer app for laptop music, it turns out, wasn’t cost or portability.  It was companionship.

Herndon’s album is brilliant.  You should get it.  It’s bold experimental music that doesn’t offset its difficulty with layers of analogue nostalgia or a monolithic unification of tone.  It’s often banging, basically.  Especially when it shatters the world and leaves only processed voices and voids.

Fade is techno like Gavin Russom’s music is techno.  The first hand experiences of German clubs having perforated the American skin and entered the blood — the concerns of home, fascinatingly filtered through this.  Fade contains Herndon’s processed voice; more concerned with abstraction than Karen Andersson‘s similarly techno-backed modulations.  Fade manages to weave Acid into its very fabric while still bending all its allusions to its will.  It’s torch song techno.  A realisation of the idea expressed above: the confessional and technology colliding through the unification of the instrument.

Holly Herndon – Fade

Holly Herndon’s album, Movement, will be available from 12th November on RVNG,