HIVE1 by Tyondai Braxton

Tyondai Braxton - HIVE1

Year: 23XX. You’re a consciousness implanted in a robot, built just like many others on an artificial world. You “wake up” to start your “day” with a greeting from the nano-flies that implant the necessary imagery and motives into your mind hard-drive. Enjoy your “day”!

This one isn’t for the faint of heart. You may know Tyondai Braxton as the former singer and guitarist of Battles (one of my personal favorite bands, and you must take a listen to Mirrored if you have not yet), but don’t let his past resume influence your preconception about what this little album contains. This one is a creature all its own.

The eight tracks on this album were created for the purpose of a performance work entitled Hive that premiered at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and boy, does this sound like a performance work like no other. The predominantly synthetic and percussive textures that weave through this album can be abrasive at times, but every sound has a purpose and place in holding this structure together.

Similar to Holly Herndon’s recent masterwork Platform, this album sounds as if it was graciously sent to us through a time machine from centuries into the future. Contrary to Herndon, Braxton cares not about appeasing the masses’ requirement for anything resembling a harmonious melody. I mean this in the best way possible. If you’re the type of person that talks socially about preferred classical percussion ensemble pieces or your favorite Aphex Twin b-sides, this album is for you.

– stasi (@stasisphere)

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HIVE1 by Tyondai Braxton

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