Holly Herndon is my favorite kind of amalgamation, bridging my love of cosmetically dark, avant-garde sonic experimentation (Her most recent album, Platform, was put out by 4AD.) with my current position as an “academic,” as a humanities professor at Temple University (She’s currently working on a PhD and is very in-touch with the semiotics of the spectacle we are currently inhabiting.) Herndon is a San Francisco-based “composer” and “sound artist,” raised in Tennessee, but who spent much of her youth overseas, indulging in Berlin’s electronic music scenes, and eventually received a degree studying postmodern electro composing. Her laptop is her primary weapon of choice and she also regularly partakes in multimedia art projects and has gained a reputation for making dance music that has a modern accessibility and appeal, while also managing a complex and concise commentary on the nature of our age’s dependence on digital technologies. Platform, her second LP, was release on May 19th and garnered an 8.7/10 rating from hyper-critical Pitchfork, who, in the past decade or so, have more or less defined the acceptable tastes of “the hip,” who applaud Herndon for embracing both the soulful humanity of her voice with the synthetic sounds and methodologies that make up the human experience in 2015. The album is as easy to dance to as it is to inspire existential thought on postmodernity. Her mission statement would seem to be as abrasive as Atari Teenage Riot, but her aesthetic would be far closer to the eloquence of Bjork. Holly Herndon will be at our very own Johnny Brenda’s next Tuesday, June 2nd, for a show that I not only expect will be talked about for ages to come, but whose composition almost no one could guess.
May 29, 2015