Music Review | posted 19.05.2015
Holly Herndon
Platform
RVNG Intl., 2015
Text Kristoffer Cornils , Translation Julia Frohn
Your Rating:
7.7
User (3)
9.2
Editorial
Cover Holly Herndon - Platform

At the beginning and in the middle of the 90s, the slowly creeping digitalization started to reverse the way we used to see the world. There was a new and mysterious order, and even though everything seemed more complex, things were much more transparent and easier to reach. Soon, IDM needed glitch, in order to allow us to experience this sudden alienation and to crash silly illusions. Like a huge crack, glitch ran through the new, digitally glimmering surface. Now that our idea of the web has advanced and the digitalization has reached every corner of our lives, things are starting to look different again. The (seemingly) coherent narrative has made room for a polyphony of individual stories in social networks. Instead of merely canalizing these stories, as it’s done by mems like Chillwave, Seapunk or the meta-level-platform Vaporwave, Holly Herndon is inflating them, making all the filter bubbles burst on her second record »Platform«. And even though her popularity started with the strong and well exposed physicality of her performances (Herndon sees the computer as an instrument and herself as a musician rather than a producer), the structure of her music has developed into a coherent concept. These new ideas were mostly teasered by the videos of »Chorus« and »Home«, both of which are compressing malicious and oppressing scenes of our thoroughly digitalized lives. Herdon’s music has become just as compressed: Its foundation sounds like IDM, and still, her music isn’t alien due to glitch but due to her vocals. Her voice is Herndon’s main instrument. Sometimes, it is wandering from clear melodies through the madness of her tracks, peppered with polyphonic and poignant pieces of trance; at other times, it is cut into individual syllables in order to be rebuilt, forming erratic rhythmic elements. The uncanny highlight of this digital-hauntological record consists of a single speech-sample, untreated and naked: On »Lonely At The Top«, performance artist Claire Tolan is purring confessions of love into the mic, exaggerating the promises of social networks about positivism and individualization. What used to be glitch to IDM is humankind to Herndon’s music. It’s a conceptual and musical master piece, and there might not be another record as elaborated and spooky in 2015.

You can find »Platform« by Holly Herndon at hhv.de: LP
Your Comment
Related Articles
Music Review | posted 03.11.2014
Bing & Ruth
Tomorrow Was the Golden Age
On »Tomorrow Was the Golden Age«, Bing & Ruth are combining dark and washed out epics in order to create a suite of nine parts.
Music Review | posted 09.02.2016
Anna Homler & Steve Moshier
Breadwoman & Other Tales
In 1985, Anna Homler’s and Steve Moshier’s recordings were merely released on tape. Now »Breadwoman« can be purchased on vinyl.
Music Review | posted 17.06.2019
Emily A. Sprague
Water Memory / Mount Vision
RVNG Intl releases »Water Memory« and »Mount Vision«, the first two albums of the American sound designer Emily A. Sprague.
Music Review | posted 16.06.2015
Aidan Baker & Idklang
In The Red Room
In Idklang, Aidan Baker has found a partner who provides an informal frame to his exuberant arts.
Music Review | posted 10.06.2015
Jamie xx
In Colours
On his debut, Jamie xx hat got it all right. It’s an incredibly exquisite record – exquisite enough to be disgusted.
Music Review | posted 15.06.2015
HELM
Olympic Mess
Overcoming stress through music: On »Olympic Mess«, Luke Younger aka HELM is trying to handle his very own chaos.
Music Review
Hessel Veldman
Eigen Boezem
DIY recordings made in the eighties in the Dutch city of IJmuiden: »Eigen Boezem« exposes music by Hessel Veldman.
Music Review
Various Artists
Artificial Dancers – Waves Of Synth
You think you already know everything about synthesizer music from the 1980s? Then, thanks to »Artificial Dancers – Waves Of Synth« you can practice in humility.
Music Review
Cucina Povera & Haron
Plafond 6
Cucina Povera and Haron share the rills on »Plafond 6«. The dilettantish is sometimes so exaggerated that it hurts.
Music Review
Heerlens Percussie Ensemble
Biologic Music
If you say »drum group« now, you’re out: Hot Mule releases »Biologic Music«, six pieces written in 1986 by the Heerlens Percussie Ensemble.
Music Review
Red Axes
Red Axes
Red Axes have released »Red Axes«. On their second album the Israelis seem to have found themselves again.
Music Review
Jensen Interceptor
Strings Of Fear
Without Jensen Interceptor, the electro hype of the last few years would hardly have been justifiable. Now a new Vinyl 12" has been released.
Music Review
Daily Fauli
Fauli Til Dauli
Minimal Wave releases with »Fauli Til Dauli« musical finds of the Danish actor Søren Fauli, who calls himself Daily Fauli here.
Music Review
Ron Boots, Jo Bogaert & Morten Søndergaard
Lachrymation / Ambient Kinsky / Sahara I Mine Hænder / Far Boundaries
The latest release brings together tracks from Ron Boots, Jo Bogaert and Morten Søndergaard, a Dutchman, a Belgian and a Dane.
Music Review
Fire-Toolz
Rainbow Bridge
More weird, more beautiful music than on »Rainbow Bridge« has never been heard in the discography of Fire-Toolz or the catalogue of Hausu Mountain.
Music Review
Litia~Loe
Each Dawn Every Dawn
The new reissue label Mixed Signals has dedicated itself to the reappraisal of hidden corners of house music. One of their first releases is »Each Dawn Every Dawn« by Litia~Loe.
Music Review
Piero Piccioni
OST Il Dio Sotto La Pelle
After 20 years of waiting Piero Piccioni’s soundtrack to »Il Dio Sotto La Pelle« via Musica Per Immagini gets the well-deserved reissue.
Music Review
Sepehr
Shaytoon
San Francisco-based producer Sepehr has released a thoroughly inspiring debut album with »Shaytoon«.
Music Review
Roza Terenzi
Modern Bliss
Barely two years ago, Roza Terenzi made her debut on Planet Euphorique. Now she presents her debut album on Sophie Sweetland’s label with »Modern Bliss«.
Music Review
The Mauskovic Dance Band
Shadance Hall
Four times transculturalism mish-mash, four lo-fi-dub versions: With »Shadance Hall« The Mauskovic Dance Band celebrates a furious debut with the Dutch label Dekmantel.
Music Review
Various Artists
Systems EP 1
Kalahari Oyster Cult has recovered this unknown classic. The six tracks on »Systems EP 1«, 25 years old, are made for the dancefloors in 2020.
Music Review
Ennio Morricone
OST Uccidete Il Vitello Grasso E Arrostitelo
Transversales Disques has reissued »Uccidete Il Vitello Grasso E Arrostitelo«, a less known soundtrack by Ennio Morricone.
Music Review
Pharoah Sanders
Welcome To Love
Tidal Waves releases »Welcome To Love«, ballads by saxophonist Pharoah Sanders released only on CD in 1991, for the first time on vinyl.
Music Review
Guilherme Coutinho E O Grupo Stalo
Guilherme Coutinho E O Grupo Stalo
»Guilherme Coutinho E O Grupo Stalo« from 1978 is an archival find not available anywhere. Mad About has now restored the record in all its details and reissued it.
Music Review
Cucina Povera
Tyyni
Simple in sound, open and slightly reverberant in arrangement: the Glasgow-based Finn Cucina Povera has released a new album with »Tyyni«.
Music Review
Gang Starr
Jazz Thing
Mr Bongo reissues some rap classics from the 1990s on Vinyl-7inch. Among them »Jazz Thing« by Gang Starr.
Music Review
Phi-Psonics
The Cradle
The jazz on Phi-Psonics’ »The Cradle« inspires with almost erotic charm. We get to be introduced to a band from which we will hear even more in the future.
Music Review
Knxwledge
1988
»1988«, the second album by Knxwledge for Stones Throw, shows on 22 tracks in just 37 minutes all the skills of the American Beatmaker.
Music Review
Rosa
Acqua Di Sale
Out of the circle of the Neapolitans of Mystic Jungle comes Rosa. Her 6-track-EP »Acqua Di Sale«, released by Periodica, is without exception cocktail-suitable.
Music Review
Ben Bertrand
Manes
On his new album »Manes« the Belgian clarinetist Ben Betrand combines classical music with electronic effects.
Music Review
Matthew Tavares & Leland Whitty
Visions
The Canadians Matthew Tavares and Leland Whitty, known as part of BadBadNotGood, have released an album with »Visions«. This has what it takes to be a big hit.
Music Review
World Quake Band
Everything Is On The One
»Everything Is On The One«, the only album of the World Quake Band released in 1981, has now been reissued on Mad About Records.
Music Review
Atmosphere
Whenever
Atmosphere, the duo from Minneapolis, is back with a new album. »Whenever« avoids experimentation and is a solid delivery.
Music Review
Pharoah Sanders
Live In Paris 1975
Pharoah Sanders recorded “Live In Paris 1975” in times of transition. This is reflected in the stylistic diversity of the recordings, but not in the playing of his quartet.
Music Review
Kris Baha
Barely Alive Remixes
The Australian Kris Baha is not getting tired and brings another release with »Barely Alive Remixes« on (Emotional) Espacial.
Music Review
Houschyar
Temmuz
Houschyar’s »Temmuz« is warm from the first second, really muggy, hazy, intoxicating, a cosy blanket, milk with honey.
Music Review
Wildflower
Season 2
»Season 2«, the second album by Wildflower, with musicians from Sons Of Kemet and Ill Considered, is a meditation in exhilarated times.
Music Review
O Yuki Conjugate
Into Dark Water
O Yuki Conjugate’s subtle use of the then-new technique on »Into Dark Water« back in 1987 can only astound in retrospect.
Music Review
Vladislav Delay
Rakka
»Rakka«, the first album by Finnish musician Vladislav Delay in five years, is three quarters of an hour of catharsis with no way out.
Music Review
D.K.
Live At The Edge
»Live At The Edge«, the title of the fourth solo album of the Parisian producer D.K., is as double-meaning as the live recorded music on it is ambiguous.
Music Review
Various Artists
Studiolo: The 90's Afro Cosmic Era
The boundaries between cosmic and comical are fluid on »Studiolo: The 90’s Afro Cosmic Era«, a collection of curious tracks in »Afro style«.
Music Review
Various Artists
Kearney Barton: Architect Of The Northwest Sound
The compilation »Kearney Barton: Architect Of The Northwest Sound« celebrates a producer who has shaped Seattle and the surrounding area like no other.
Music Review
Priscilla Ermel
Origins Da Luz
Just released on Music From Memory, »Origins Da Luz« brings together the best songs of Brazilian musician Priscilla Ermel.
Music Review
Subtle Houzze
Controversy
In 1992 Gary D. and Boris Dlugosch presented the EP »Controversy« as Subtle Houzze, which is now being reissued by Running Back. They are tracks for all day and night times.
Music Review
Various Artists
Transition Vol.1
»Transition Vol.1« combines tracks of four bands from three continents from the time between 1992 and 1994, with one thing in common: Post-Industrial as origin.
Music Review
Nicola Cruz
Hybridism
On »Hybridism« Nicola Cruz, born in France and living in Ecuador, once again mixes the most diverse music from the most remote corners of the world.
Music Review
Sasaki Hideto & Sekine Toshiyuki Quartet +1
Stop Over
Released in 1976 in a small edition, the great »Stop Over« by Sasaki Hideto & Sekine Toshiyuki Quartet +1 now gets a second chance.