Boomkat Product Review:
Proper Autechre-on-nitrous business here with a gear list spicier than Jean-Michel Jarre's tech rider. Strap the fuck in.
On 2019's "Monitress", San Fran tech-art wanderer Jon Leidecker (aka Wobbly) plugged his abstract compositions into pitch tracking apps on phones and tablets that re-interpreted the audio, often incorrectly, as MIDI signals, spitting the patterns out to various synths and drum machines. The same process is used on "Popular Monitress" but as the title suggests, poppier structures have replaced the improv that grounded its predecessor. Not that you can really hear it: this is an uncompromisingly bizarre set of tracks that lunge from 20 second explosive deconstruction to ticking "Confield"-esque FM splattercore without so much as a pause for breath.
But "Popular Monitress" isn't just DSP raspberries and hot spurts of computer-gone-wrong glitchery, there are discernible melodies hidden in behind the impermeable walls of static. Like the melodies that get stuck in yer head for weeks or jingles that re-appear after years dormant, themes and riffs appear from nowhere before being sandblasted with process. The album feels like a surreal comment on the power of the algorithm to reshape how we hear music, not necessarily by writing it but by programming our listening experience before we even notice. As Leidecker lets his pitch robots re-interpret his music coldly, blemished with inhuman error, it mimics the unthinking doom cycle of the aggregated playlist. The end result is bone-dry, binary and barbed: it's just what we deserve.