Lee Gamble: Fashions Album Evaluation

Lee Gamble’s Fashions is a chilly, unhappy, wispy album whose songs are like ghosts making an attempt to speak their unfinished enterprise, unable to puncture the barrier between their airplane of existence and ours. The seven tracks on the UK producer’s new album don’t simply deconstruct pop music; they obliterate it, leaving unmoored vocal bits gasping and choking in lifeless air, as if separated from their dad or mum songs and ravenous for oxygen. There’s one thing curiously touching about these twitching, disembodied songs; you virtually need to choose them up and attempt to put them again collectively once more.

There’s not a single precise human voice to be discovered throughout the document’s 32-minute runtime. As a substitute, Gamble assembled an arsenal of artificial voices, which he then fed by neural networks that scrambled the syllables past recognition. At occasions, the outcomes resemble human language, as when “She’s Not” repeats its title again and again like an overzealous skilled parrot. Others are pure generative gibberish. When you notice which pop tune Gamble is atomizing on “XIth c. Spray”—trace: it’s an early hit by an American pop star whose final identify rhymes with “spray”—the distinction between acquainted melody and alien language turns into humorous, poignant, and horrifying. You virtually really feel sorry for the substitute voice because it performs the perform it was created to carry out, endlessly and unthinkingly, with no comprehension of how ridiculous it sounds.

Gamble’s manufacturing feels simply as incorporeal because the voices. Composed of endlessly circling rave melodies and chord progressions that lead nowhere, it harkens again to the ambient jungle deconstructions on his 2012 album Diversions 1994-1996 and conjures the identical feeling of cavernous vacancy. His productions might not be composed by AI, however they don’t precisely sound human both, with “Purple Orange” daringly disappearing into silence in its opening seconds. (Many listeners could discover themselves checking their quantity settings.) Even unmistakable nods to Hyperdub labelmate Burial on “Juice” and Boards of Canada on “Blurring” really feel much less like references and extra like errant bits of cultural detritus that Gamble simply occurred to scoop up whereas digging, WALL-E-like, by a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The album’s one second of gorgeous magnificence—a wash of Ashra-like guitars firstly of “She’s Not”—appears completely divorced from the remainder of the music right here, which proceeds from such inhuman logic that the thought of “magnificence” appears as overseas to it as it might be to a crocodile.


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