Recently, I have found myself delving into the realm of experimental, ambient, droning,¬†and somewhat meditative music (see Jenny Hval & Susanna – Meshes of Voice¬†and Tobacco – Ultima II). My mind and body respond in unique ways that leave me with residual feelings of introspection as well as an¬†overall excitement for the boundaries of music these artist are pushing.
Holly Herndon, a San Francisco artist, is¬† currently a candidate for doctoral study in Computer Music at Stanford University. Her music is reminiscent of Oneohtrix Point Never, Lorn, and Jenny Hval. She is releasing her second¬†LP through¬†RVNG, and has included a limited Edition of 300 2xLPs, which are hand numbered with silk screen covers.
“Holly Herndon‚Äôs second album Platform proposes new fantasies and rejuvenates old optimism.
Herndon has become a leading light in contemporary music by experimenting within the outer reaches of dance music and pop songwriting possibilities. A galvanising statement, Platform signals Herndon‚Äôs transformation as an electronic musician to a singular voice.
Born in Tennessee, but reared on music abroad, Herndon broke out from her formative years in Berlin‚Äôs minimal techno scene to repatriate to San Francisco, where she currently lives and studies as a doctoral candidate at Stanford‚Äôs Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA).
With the progressive themes of Platform, Holly Herndon could be viewed as the 21st century‚Äôs answer to the protest singer were she not also a composer of such sublime music. Old categories don‚Äôt fit for Herndon, just as the lineage of protest-music fails to capture the scope of Platform‚Äôs appeal and its potential for mass disruption.
To achieve Platform, Herndon has opened up her process to vital artists and thinkers from her creative circle, leading by example to tackle a host of topics ranging from systemic inequality, surveillance states and neo-feudalism. Platform underscores the need for new fantasies and strategic collective action.
Among the collaborators are composer and drag performer Colin Self (vocals on ‚ÄúUnequal‚ÄĚ), contemporary artist Spencer Longo (co-writer on ‚ÄúLocker Leak‚ÄĚ), rogue production outfit Amnesia Scanner (co-producers of ‚ÄúAn Exit‚ÄĚ), Ensemble Dal Niente‚Äôs soprano voice Amanda DeBoer Bartlett (vocals on ‚ÄúDao‚ÄĚ), Berlin Community Radio‚Äôs ASMR ambassador Claire Tolan (voice on ‚ÄúLonely at the Top‚ÄĚ), and radical Dutch design studio Metahaven (visuals for ‚ÄúHome‚ÄĚ). Influence of long-time collaborator and digital-DIY artist Mat Dryhurst is also echoed throughout.
Herndon‚Äôs debut album Movement, released in 2012, showcased Herndon‚Äôs fascination with trance and the disjunctive sampling techniques pioneered by avant-garde composition. Subsequent singles ‚ÄėChorus‚Äô and ‚ÄėHome‚Äô ‚Äď offered in advance of Platform ‚Äď humanised the laptop by celebrating its capacity for memory-storage and lamenting its vulnerability in light of revelations of mass surveillance.
Transitioning to Platform, Herndon‚Äôs music becomes even more visceral by channeling the chaos and clangor of transmediated experience. Close to a contemporized version of Einst√ľrzende Neubauten‚Äôs industrial rhythms or Joe Meek‚Äôs fantastical alien productions, Herndon‚Äôs auditory palette samples the domestic and digital environments of her daily life.
Opposing the dystopic potential of a surveillance state and the specter of a monoculture, Platform seizes this unstable moment for a conscious shift in the pop and dance music conversation. Offering what Herndon describes as ‚Äúa rupture, a paradisic gesture,‚ÄĚ Platform is an optimistic breakthrough for Herndon, an appeal for progress, and a step toward new ways to love.”
Holly Herndon‚Äôs Platform will be released May 18 (UK) and May 19 (US / ROW) in cooperation between RVNG Intl. and 4AD on 2xLP, CD, and digital formats.
Limted Edition 2xLP w/ Ltd. Ed. Hand # (/300) Metahaven Silkscreen Cover (includes digital download)
- Maybe Buy
- Not My Style
- Too Expensive