Mid-80’s digital new age meets the voices of Lyra Pramuk, Holly Herndon, and Mindar the Buddhist Robot on the Seahawks’ latest album.
Let’s talk about headphone music – the stuff that, heard at proper volume, seems to bounce around different parts of your noggin with each measure, massaging eardrums while filling your entire psyche with unfiltered sound. Though any track heard through headphones (or earbuds) is, by definition, headphone music, the recordings we’re thinking of – dub, Warp-style computer music, new age, and Balaeric, for example – seems to revel in spatial relationships by creating layered sonic dimensions. Think Autechre, Secret Circuit, and Boards of Canada, or, before that, the work of Brian Eno, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, or Woo.
For the past dozen years Lo Recordings founder Jon Tye and brilliant Welsh visual artist Pete Fowler have composed visionary headphone music as Seahawks. Informed, as conveyed in release notes to its forthcoming album Infinite Echo — which comes out Nov. 4 — “by a breadth of eclectic chillness (mid-80’s digital new age in the Higher Octave vein, Michael McDonald remixed by Oneohtrix Point Never, etc.),” the pair created the bones of the album using audio production software. They then fed it through Lyra Pramuk’s Siren Songs app and Holly Herndon’s Holly+ software. L.A.-based Cascine Records, which will release Infinite Echo, rightly describes the end result as “choral, otherworldly, and ‘emotional in a new kind of way.’”
“Ultimately it’s more DMT than marijuana,” says Tye of the album.
Cascine’s release notes continue:
There’s also a unique sense of intentionality to Infinite Echo, connected to their notion of “reciprocal vibrations.” (Not for nothing is the LP dedicated to the recently departed “father of mindfulness” Thích Nhất Hạnh). These songs were born of a belief in beauty as a law of motion, radiating a reaction that carries on like a butterfly effect. Regardless of where or how this music is heard, within it are seeds of transformative positivity, to be embraced, absorbed, or shared as befits the needs of the listener. This isn’t new age, it’s the only age.
Within a few moments of the album’s opening, for example, listeners receive a lesson from Mindar the Buddhist Robot, which the Washington Post recently described as “a mostly aluminum androgynous robotic priest who gives plain-spoken sermons that are designed to stimulate interest in Buddhist teachings.” Listen to that track below.
The video for “Beams of Love” was generated by AI images of the beach where Seahawks mixed the album. The record was co-produced and mastered by Rusty Santos, who used as a reference point Boards of Canada’s headphone masterpiece Music Has the Right to Children. As with that record, Infinite Echo will, with ample focus and volume, nestle its way into the deepest corners of your mind.
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