Review Summary: Holly Herndon breathes some fresh air into experimental electronic music.
2 of 2 thought this review was well written
I'm glad I came across this. I'm no big fan of electronic music in general, but someone recommended I have a listen of this recently-released LP by this new artist. Holly Herndon is new, but not a rookie when it comes to making this industrialized 'laptop music'. Some may come into disgust at that term, but Holly knows her game (The young composer traveled around Europe for quite some time, in order to get the cultural feel of electronic music). She had once said herself that she wanted to learn a real instrument someday, so that she could be taken more seriously as a composer. Later, she returned to California's Mills College, and discovered that electronic music made from her computer could be her calling. Amazing, she has made a laptop a personal, intimate instrument that she crafts art with.
This LP is seven tracks long, and the total album time is only about 30 minutes long. Two of these seven tracks are at the one to two minute mark. Holly knows atmosphere in electronica, but she takes advantage of the colder, robotic side of this type of music, and creates some very worthy sounds. On the opener, "Terminal", waves of sound come across, going from one speaker to the other, quicker at each time, transforming into a grinding fan-like noise. This slowly transitions into cold, relaxing hums of ambience. It goes on even further. (There are too many sounds to note into a few sentences, it’s really that good). "Breathe" is without question the best track on this album, and it shows that Holly can turn her own breathes of air into ocean waves that sound almost quite creepy. The concept of the track is that we breathe when we are born until we die; know that's a pure Zen Buddhism concept right there. Another track that can be appreciated is the closer, "Dilato" with a guest male vocalist and Holly singing harmoniously together in computerized, glitchy style.
Much of Holly's own vocals are included in this fashion on here. Her voice all glitched up into different shapes and sizes can be quite impressive, crafting moods of playfulness, tenseness, and anxiousness. The only real beef I have with this album is that it the title doesn't really suggest a flow of what you would think, but that can be easily dismissed with the amount of ingenious sounds you'll find on here. I hope in the future, that Ms. Herndon can create something a bit longer as well, but that's no big problem either. Like my friend who recommended this to me, I recommend this to anyone who is not very interested or hates electronic music, because this LP might just happen to change your mind about everything you've heard so far. If I'm wrong, then the hell with this whole review, because I must have been drunk...