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Holly Herndon - PROTO

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New album in may

https://www.residentadvisor.net/news/43422

First track sounds like IDM for simpletons/normies /basic

AI concept is a total wankfest

Video is cringy as hell

Pls explain the hype cause I don’t get it

You’re not alone. I’ve noticed this a lot lately with younger artists - pretentious nonsense used to cover up absolutely abysmal music.

 

 

 A lot of Holly Herndon's peers and shitload of post-dubstep post-grime stuff falls in this category but I'd be hard-pressed to put her in this critique, even though it's one I share. A lot of 'avant-garde' stuff with heavy PR and hyperbolic write-ups often end up sounding like 90s era MIDI music piss takes. And that's the "experimental" stuff - synthpop and art pop is even more eye roll inducing, especially bands of art students just rehashing post-punk and art rock that's all style and no substance.

 

She's up there with 0PN and Arca and other experimental artists who I find sincere even if their music is hit or miss or me personally.

 

This is am interesting track regardless of the art installment fluff - personally I dig it - and let's be honest if this was presented as some kind of mysterious bedroom IDM project or obscure Japanese experimental release from the early 00s or some other contextually appealing scenario half of you would be all over it.

 

+1

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I like the track and video cause i love music, girls and drugs

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inject this right into my veins

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This album is a complete monster. 

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sorry can we not derail this thread please we're here to argue about Age Of again

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On 5/10/2019 at 2:02 PM, Lada Laika said:

This album is a complete monster. 

Agreed. I liked the two singles, but this is way better than I expected. 

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On 3/12/2019 at 6:25 PM, joshuatxuk said:

 

i dunno why but this one specific reply made me spit out my coffee but it did

😜 I still miss the other smilies.

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Loving this on first couple of listens, I enjoyed her 1st 2 albums but this sounds like a proper step up again.

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every time i listen to this it's better than the last time i listened to it. 

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On 5/25/2019 at 6:35 AM, auxien said:

every time i listen to this it's better than the last time i listened to it. 

Yeah I was afraid I would get sick of it because I’ve been playing it to death, but it just gets better and better.

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Picked it up on wax today. It's a real treat.

I also don't mind her write-up. Heaven forbid that anyone should think a thought nowadays 

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i lasted almost two tracks

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1 hour ago, eugene said:

i lasted almost two tracks

yr loss m7

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I understand that HH comes from a mills college /academic background and is surely familiar with all sorts of experimental and modern comp as well as ethnomusicology and folk music but the shape note singing shit is p embarrassing and completely destroys any momentum of the record.

 

additionally the Stockhausen and Meredith monk moments are cringey because they don’t really add anything that those two haven’t thoroughly explored in their own music. When you make obvious references to extremely influential and genius composers you need to offer a point of view on their work- blend it with your own style. (If you do it at all) You can’t just sandwich a stimmung ref inbetween your own “hi-tek” vocal and beat tracks and then a folk shape note choir piece. It just becomes references for references’ sake. not to mention creating a horrible flow for your album of music. I kinda feel like Queen B has worked through this stuff a decade ago more successfully, esp. on Medulla which is a v underrated record imo.

 

Platform suffered from this somewhat but not as frustratingly. Too bad that the academic quoting and over-intellectualizing (like in the write-up) are the features turned up this time round because there are 3 or 4 tracks on here that are v fun even if they feel a little dated. SWIM is really nice.

 

 

 

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It's a grower not a shower. Much happier with this than Age Of to leave the remote control to one side and not skip.. much more substance and focus on this in this its thumbnail image than opn has in his glans helmet

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Shitz likes it so must be good

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Posted (edited)

I wouldn't call winning a grammy underrated.. Medulla is a lovely album though I don't really see the similarity other than "uses vocal patterns." I find she nods to Laurie Anderson far more than Bjork. The mixing, sound design, overall focus is completely different as are the vocal styles: HH's is closer to Bulgarian singing at times, and the fragmented sacred harp track was pretty sweet tbh. 

 

Edited by TwiddleBot

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it's similar in that it was focused on exploring different approaches to vocals in a modern context by merging "traditional" choral and vocal performances, like HH's southern shape note singing and queen b's icelandic choirs / throat singing with modern recording technology and their own personal POV. Obviously the music and mixing etc is completely different but I think they're trying to achieve similar intellectual goals. does that make sense to you?

i listened to platform this morning. far superior record in every way. nothing like morning sun on this one - proto will have to go down as an L for me. the algorithmic vocal processing software doesn't produce *that* interesting results and i only realized what was going on after i read through the pretentious and gendered explanation. why was it gendered? would only make sense if we already gender computer programs in english. but we dont. they are completely sexless. gendering something against their will?? seems weird and possibly cancel-worthy.

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lol

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lol

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lol

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Posted (edited)
On 6/6/2019 at 12:21 PM, dr lopez said:

it's similar in that it was focused on exploring different approaches to vocals in a modern context by merging "traditional" choral and vocal performances, like HH's southern shape note singing and queen b's icelandic choirs / throat singing with modern recording technology and their own personal POV. Obviously the music and mixing etc is completely different but I think they're trying to achieve similar intellectual goals. does that make sense to you?

 

Medulla's more straight up accapella, with minimal computer processing.  She was taking songs that might ordinarily be arranged with synths/electronic beats and replacing those aspects with the human voice, which sounds like it was mostly performed live (albeit meticulously, one voice at a time, and mixed to perfection).  Proto seems more focused on the deconstruction of the vocals, presumably with the AI program she created.  So Bjork's replacing technology with the human voice, and Herndon's fucking up the human voice with technology.  I think both are following their own artistic interests, not making any deliberate nods towards other artists who may have tried similar things in the past.  I mean, these ideas in themselves aren't particularly unusual.  The execution is where it gets interesting.  On the Bjork note - Crawler reminded me a lot of her song Hollow off Biophilia (and up until now I'd never heard another song that reminded me of Hollow, so that's neat).

Just finished my first listen.  Lots there to dig into.  I'm a huge fan of Herndon's sound design in general, and her approach to vocals - reminds me a lot of chamber choral music.  I was a bit distracted by all the hilarious watmm cynicism on display at the start of this thread, which became notably more positive after people had actually listened to the album.

Edited by Zephyr_Nova

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