Recently, I have found myself delving into the realm of experimental, ambient, droning,Â and somewhat meditative music (see Jenny Hval & Susanna – Meshes of VoiceÂ and Tobacco – Ultima II). My mind and body respond in unique ways that leave me with residual feelings of introspection as well as anÂ overall excitement for the boundaries of music these artist are pushing.
Holly Herndon, a San Francisco artist, isÂ 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 secondÂ LP throughÂ RVNG, and has included a limited Edition of 300 2xLPs, which are hand numbered with silk screen covers.
“Holly Herndonâs 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 Herndonâs 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 Berlinâs minimal techno scene to repatriate to San Francisco, where she currently lives and studies as a doctoral candidate at Stanfordâs Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA).
With the progressive themes of Platform, Holly Herndon could be viewed as the 21st centuryâs answer to the protest singer were she not also a composer of such sublime music. Old categories donât fit for Herndon, just as the lineage of protest-music fails to capture the scope of Platformâs 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 âUnequalâ), contemporary artist Spencer Longo (co-writer on âLocker Leakâ), rogue production outfit Amnesia Scanner (co-producers of âAn Exitâ), Ensemble Dal Nienteâs soprano voice Amanda DeBoer Bartlett (vocals on âDaoâ), Berlin Community Radioâs ASMR ambassador Claire Tolan (voice on âLonely at the Topâ), and radical Dutch design studio Metahaven (visuals for âHomeâ). Influence of long-time collaborator and digital-DIY artist Mat Dryhurst is also echoed throughout.
Herndonâs debut album Movement, released in 2012, showcased Herndonâs fascination with trance and the disjunctive sampling techniques pioneered by avant-garde composition. Subsequent singles âChorusâ and âHomeâ â offered in advance of Platform â humanised the laptop by celebrating its capacity for memory-storage and lamenting its vulnerability in light of revelations of mass surveillance.
Transitioning to Platform, Herndonâs music becomes even more visceral by channeling the chaos and clangor of transmediated experience. Close to a contemporized version of EinstĂŒrzende Neubautenâs industrial rhythms or Joe Meekâs fantastical alien productions, Herndonâs 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 âa rupture, a paradisic gesture,â Platform is an optimistic breakthrough for Herndon, an appeal for progress, and a step toward new ways to love.”
Holly Herndonâs 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