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holly herndon - Movement
Stunning debut album from San Francisco-based sound artist/musician, Holly Herndon. 'Movement' is a compelling investigation of the voice's role in experimental computer music, dismantling, warping and diffusing its unique properties and connoted values through Max/MSP treatments to reveal a spectrum of alien cadence and dissonance manifested via acid techno structures and dynamic, esoteric arrangement. Holly is an accredited academic, having studied at the technical university in Berlin, besides recently completing a masters in Electronic Music and Recording Media at Mills College, California, and taking up a doctoral study in Electronic Music at Stanford; hence there's a clear sense of discipline and inherent skill to her work. Yet that's conventionally at odds with her passion for dance music - including collaborations with Jamal Moss, NHK and Jlin - which amounts to a very interesting proposition to our sensibilities, at least. So, to 'Movement', a visceral, beguiling set of seven compositions ranging from psycho-acoustic frequency f**kery a la Florian Hecker or Maryanne Amacher to powerful, engagingly sensuous dance music recalling the work of Tin Man, Mark Fell or Mika Vainio, all with incredibly heightened spatial awareness and a holistic approach to stimulating the senses to deeply gratifying degrees. It might well be one of this year's finest, most futuristic electronic albums.