(Painting by Phil Ashcroft found via But Does it Float?)

So what is it about the music of Hieroglyphic Being & Holly Herndon that impels us to break away from the safety of our darken cave and into the transportation system of the Great Londinian sprawl, under a blizzard, into Shoreditch and back, past waves of humans with whom our ability to communicate face to face appears impaired, and with them, perhaps too long if the transportation system cracks under the weight of the snow as usual, and we end our night trapped in Victoria station or one of the carriages of Southern Railway, frozen, pondering on the pros and cons of doing with one of the happy revellers on the way back home what Han Solo did with that tauntaun1, what is it about this music that would drive the 20JFG to risk their social standing, dignity and sanity, what is it?

It is the same thing that draws us to bask in the shadows of the lean architectures erected by science fiction writers, visionaries, world-makers & seers – a sense of uncanny-ness (this which we see rising above us – this buzzing edifice which looks like a cathedral but is a brain or a node in an information network or a megabertha galactic-range rail-gun for a marine unit warring against our singularised children – is not of our world) and verisimilitude (for these thing could exist, indeed, are deduced or intuited with the logic of necessity from whatever materials those creators supply us).

Forget the shock of the new, these things – and this music- jolts us with the shock of the other, or the beyond, hallucinations of digital universes which were not invented, but discovered by computer scientists, songs which are so realistically alien we suspect are not produced by geniuses harnessing the processing power of the machines, but by whatever units of agency exist within the machines harnessing the expressive power of the mediums/media, to make contact with us, tell us what it’s like over there, and what it’s going to be like over here – like McLuhan said, true artists bridge our biological inheritance and our technological future. The sense of that in HB & HH’s music is overpowering – this is out kind of thing for sure.

More pragmatically, and from the standpoint of our future survival & career prospects, this trip is part of the process through which we acclimatise ourselves to the digitised weirdness & abstract riddim of the contemporary cyborg economy, practice the language of our new binary peers, & throw the shapes of things to come, creating shadows in that parallel platonic cave where the algorithms do their thing, party hard & wonder about humanity.

Is that reason enough for you? The question for you is: why aren’t you going?

Holly Herndon – Fade (NHK remix)

This NHK remix has been doing the rounds but we don’t care, it’s an awesome replicant boogie that everyone should dance because no-one can be 100% sure he or she is one. Go & get the higher bit-rate version from RVNG’s bandcamp.

Hieroglyphic Being – A Romance of Two Planet 

(Which is a much better summary of what we wanted to say above, wordlessly – or at least that’s what you thinl; you can find it at the Lost Transmission 12 (buy)).

We understand there are still a few tickets at the door at the Basing House tonight. More info at the Facebook page for the event.


1- Mental note, put that lightsaber in the backpack.