Friday, November 19, 2010

The Strange Case of the Digital Larynx

David Bevan at Pitchfork has a really interesting column on the newer uses of voice manipulation. Seems interesting in relation to my Radiohead article. Bevan does trace a lineage, but does note exactly get at what makes these newer uses unique, the ways in which the whole concept of vocals in a song becomes wraith-like in and of itself. In these tunes, there's the distinct sense that the joy of Western song has already been depleted, that the desire to sing like that is itself an extinct precarity, that times have becomes so sad (Burial) or confusing (James Blake) that the voice can only be memorialized or sacralized (the gigantic church of sound that is Balam Acab's "See Birds").

Also, Simon R has tipped me off to this new project from K-Punk, which set sites at audio hallucinations and other perversions of the voice.

Obviously, there's tons of examples of this phenomenon, but here's a few more examples:


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