Earlier this month we received an email from Kit Records, an imprint of which we have become most fond following a string of experimental and ambient releases in recent times. They announced a new record from a mysterious source, a producer with no details or name but for that of Electric Capablanca. The music does in turn speak for itself, a profound collection of delicate soundscapes and intriguing melodies scattered playfully across an open canvas.
This is all that was provided as to the roots of the record:
"A mechanical ghost in the corner of our room, The Electric Capablanca spins spectres, shades and sonics while nobody looks.
Lifestyle product for a Dolce Vita dreamer, the device – abandoned by one careless owner – now dreams up probable chaos.”
Released September 2019, enjoy these new hallucinations from no known author; a machined mega-puzzle of miscalculated patterns, automatic failures and lost coffee house betas.
Turn the dials to creak splinters of 70s Italian midi classical (Venosta, Musci), imagined mitteleuropa ambient (Froese, Popol Vuh) and spiritual mathematics from the old new world (Spiegel, Hassell, Riley).
Mysterious right? Anyway, we invited the unknown figure to then discuss formative influences and the rationale behind the construct of the new album... Dig in...
"Humans who act like machines, and machines who act like humans”: a fascination so enduring that it now borders a landmass marked cliche.
Recent inquiries into the world of AI - from 3D printed “lost Rembrandts” to Holly Herndon’s black mirrored Spawn - have only sharpened the conversation further.
The hallucinations of a new artist on Kit, the mysterious Electric Capablanca, however, hint at more obtuse angles. This is computation as something almost surreal or spectral, ghostly valves that recast chance as spirit voice, and algorithms as some kind of obscure, transcendent mathematics.
The imagining is of a physical device - like Steiner’s tape player in Dolce Vita (see playlist), or like the circuit tapestries of indie puzzle game “Magnum Opus” - producing its very own occult electronic voice phenomena...
...quite possibly while we sleep.
The playlist that follows reflects that interest - from the music of a virtual Bach on an ill-fated 90s games console to an Aphex mini masterpiece that seems to blow its own iron lungs. Hope it’s fun!"
H Takahashi – Lost
Cascade of possible notes from a 2004 iPhone, low powered and dimly lit. Generative torchlight, weak and watery, peering up through the pillow.