Herndon, Holly / Proto
Album: Proto   Collection:General
Artist:Herndon, Holly   Added:Jun 2019

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2019-06-12 Pull Date: 2019-08-14
Week Ending: Jul 14 Jun 23
Airplays: 1 3

Recent Airplay
1. Jul 13, 2019: (with special guest DJ Diego)
3. Jun 18, 2019: Attitude Adjustment
2. Jun 19, 2019: Brownian Motion
4. Jun 18, 2019: Magnetized Toner

Album Review
DJ Away
Reviewed 2019-06-11
LOCAL! A recent PhD graduate of CCRMA at Stanford, Holly Herndon convened a group of artists to help her create and raise an AI baby she named “Spawn.” The album follows the process through machine learning sessions as the AI’s voice develops and gets folded in to the compositions here. The result has that sharp, hi-def, ultra-digital sound palette that blurs the line between soundtracks and sound art, associated with folks like Laurel Halo, Jlin, PAN, Oneohtrix Point Never and Tim Hecker. Of that big group, Herndon is among the most overt about her conceptual framework, and probably has one of the most sophisticated relationships with the technology she’s using. In her own words: “I basically have a research-oriented practice that manifests itself through pop albums.” Favorites: 2, 4, 8, 12, 13. Possible FCC on 11.

1. (1:14)—Heavily processed synthesis of voices.
2. *(3:43)—Slow banger. Big crashing synths. High-pitched, bendy voice.
3. (1:37)—Church vocals with heavy reverb.
4. *(4:45)—Slow, heavy, busy, with drops. Several simultaneous vocal tracks. Somewhat glitchy percussion with something of an 80s feel.
5. (5:57)—Almost ambient, beatless, very crisp soundtrack/sound art feel. Choral section reminiscent of Pauline Oliveros’s Tuning Meditation, which Holly occasionally led sessions of at CCRMA.
6. (2:35)—Breathy, atonal vocals. Spoken word by a child.
7. (4:29)—Piercing, harpsichord-like AI church vocals. Mid-tempo beat drops at -2:45.
8. *(3:11)—Arpeggiated vocals with a lot of digital grain. Minimal, very pretty, reminds me of dial-up tones? Maybe she’s doing one of her ASMR experiments here, I can’t tell.
9. (4:38)-Slow, minimal beat. Dense, wave-like vocal textures.
10. (1:33)—Heavily manipulated group vocals.
11. (2:49)—FCC? (The press sheet says so, but I don’t hear it.) Glitchy sounds, mutating polyphonic spoken word.
12. *(2:30)—Super cut-up vocals used as percussion samples, laid over one another in complex rhythms. Collaboration with Jlin.
13. *(5:10)—Squelchy mid-tempo beat. Dark, a little clubby in a sci-fi way, sorta reminiscent of Massive Attack.

Track Listing
1. Birth   7. Frontier
2. Alienation   8. Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt
3. Canaan (Live Training Feat. Evelyn Saylor And Annie Garlid)   9. Swim
4. Eternal   10. Evening Shades (Live Training)
5. Crawler   11. Bridge (With Martine Syms)
6. Extreme Love (With Lily Anna Hayes And Jenna Sutela)   12. Godmother (With Jlin)
  13. Last Gasp