7 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

An award-winning composer who as a teenager left the comfortable confines of Tennessee for Berlin's cocoon-like club culture, Holly Herndon strikes a strangely human balance between highbrow hooks and lobe-liquefying dance music on her rather brave debut record, Movement. Truth be told, the only "normal" track here is “Fade,” a through-the-looking-glass take on techno that’d make perfect sense in the middle of a heady DJ set. Everything else seems to be a study in what it means to be alive in a world of paranoid androids and laptop-tethered life forces, from the acid-splashed melodies and demonic choruses of “Movement” to the speaker-panning breathing exercises of “Terminal.” It’s no wonder that New York’s Museum of Modern Art recently asked Herndon to perform at PS1, its satellite location in Queens. Movement is a red-blooded art installation that’s a few remixes away from becoming a full-on floor-filler.

EDITORS’ NOTES

An award-winning composer who as a teenager left the comfortable confines of Tennessee for Berlin's cocoon-like club culture, Holly Herndon strikes a strangely human balance between highbrow hooks and lobe-liquefying dance music on her rather brave debut record, Movement. Truth be told, the only "normal" track here is “Fade,” a through-the-looking-glass take on techno that’d make perfect sense in the middle of a heady DJ set. Everything else seems to be a study in what it means to be alive in a world of paranoid androids and laptop-tethered life forces, from the acid-splashed melodies and demonic choruses of “Movement” to the speaker-panning breathing exercises of “Terminal.” It’s no wonder that New York’s Museum of Modern Art recently asked Herndon to perform at PS1, its satellite location in Queens. Movement is a red-blooded art installation that’s a few remixes away from becoming a full-on floor-filler.

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6:28
5:59
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4:53
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About Holly Herndon

Crafting electronic music that bridges pop and academia while commenting on how technology affects humanity (and vice versa), composer Holly Herndon was raised in northeastern Tennessee. Growing up, she performed in secular and non-secular choirs and didn't explore the possibilities of computers until she was out of college. After high school, she moved to Berlin and immersed herself in the city's techno scene; she also performed with the band Electrocute and learned to play contrabass in a bid to be taken seriously as a composer. She returned to the States to study at Mills College in Oakland, California, where she discovered the versatility and intimacy of making music on laptop computers; she studied under Fred Frith, Maggi Payne and John Bischoff and learned the Max/MSP programming language. While earning her MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media, she won the Elizabeth Mills Crothers award for Best Composer, for her 2010 vocal-generated piece "195" and issued "Car," a lengthy track of automotive sounds released on cassette, in 2011. She also worked on her debut album Movement, which united her vocals, intricate samples and club music roots; RVNG Intl released it in 2012. Late that year, she became a doctoral candidate in composition at Stanford University while collaborating with artists as varied as Chicago footwork producer Jlin and Iranian philosopher Reza Negarestani. She returned with new music of her own in 2014, starting with the Chorus EP in January and the single "Home" in September. Both songs were featured on her second album Platform, which arrived in May 2015. ~ Heather Phares

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