|1||The Age Of Mutation||4:14|
|3||The Future Of Sexuality||4:33|
|5||I Am For You||5:32|
|7||Orgasm Is The Last Frontier||2:18|
|8||Soundwalk Collective – Reverse Discourse||4:01|
|9||Blessed Are The Lovers||5:48|
|10||Empower And Enhance||4:30|
Written and conceived by Stephan Crasneanscki, ‘LOVOTIC’ is a concept album by Soundwalk Collective, composed in collaboration with lauded actress and singer/songwriter Charlotte Gainsbourg. Featuring veteran techno stalwart AtomTM, rising singer/composer/performance artist Lyra Pramuk, celebrated actor Willem Dafoe, and writer/philosopher Paul B. Preciado, the album is released by the new Berlin-based Analogue Foundation.
Inspired by a relatively new field of research that seeks to explore and develop the possibilities of sexual and emotional relationships – and even love – between humans and robots, ‘LOVOTIC’ interrogates the impulses, ideas, and needs underlying this phenomenon. The project ventures into a future where sex, intimacy and desire are reformulated through the connection of humans, robotics, and artificial intelligence.
In an age of such hybrid entanglement with the machine, human identity requires the construction of new forms of intimacy, gender, and sexuality. At present, however, such technologies are primarily used to produce programs of limited sexual iterations that do not question the preformatted categories of gender and sexual orientation. In contrast, on ‘LOVOTIC’, Soundwalk Collective ask whether the future of sex and sexuality could instead be an exponentially expanding kaleidoscope. Where does the impulse of preference come from? What sets of words from our vocabulary can be communicated to the AI mind to generate a new identity for desire? Could the machine be another technology that brings us closer together?
Sonically ‘LOVOTIC’ is unidentifiable, artificial, and genuinely futuristic, occupying an amorphous androgynous netherworld at the borderlands between biotic and android. Traditional musical signposts are virtually non-existent, instead offering a mercurial, formless sound which mirrors the flourishing of gender fluidity it suggests could be on the horizon.
The production tangibly evokes the odd, rubbery textures of faux flesh, the slick virtual glide or glitchy mishaps of software, and the sleek shine of hardware. Gleaming sound design creates shard-like surfaces redolent of Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto’s ‘Glass’, the slippery stretched sonics Gabor Lazar, and the unsettling dark ambience of TOWERS and Hallmark ‘87.
At turns intimate and inviting, with whispering-in-your-ears ASMR vocals evoking blissful, heightened sexual states, within ‘LOVOTIC’ there’s optimism, but also unease; As well as the positive, it implies the negative ramifications of technology. At points a synthetic siren’s call appears to lure the listener to a darker place, with audio malfunctions suggesting dystopian science. Voices morph from gentle to distorted – a glitch in the system causing the mask to slip, like virtual lizards – ‘They Live’ or ‘V’ (?), for the metaverse age.
Here, Charlotte Gainsbourg invokes a being of unknown identity – an artificial eve, the oracle and the portal – speaking from an unspecified time in the future. The voices of AtomTM, Lyra Pramuk and Willem Dafoe weave in and out of Charlotte’s, often overlapping, merging into one another, expressing the entity of a being that’s ephemeral and in constant flux, oscillating between the natural and artificial. The record’s other bonafide singer, Lyra Pramuk’s delivery alternates between spoken word, operatics and partially- unintelligible language.
A multi-media project, ‘LOVOTIC’ also features the work of writer, philosopher and curator Paul B. Preciado – a leading thinker in the study of gender and body politics. Paul contributes a post-apocalyptic, quasi scientific and fictional text, which adds further fantasy, artistic and intellectual depth, augmenting the listener’s experience. Like all the best Sci Fi, his words seem prescient, describing what could become a likely reality in the future. Paul performs his written texts on the opening and closing tracks of the album; ‘The Age Of Mutation’ (in Spanish) and ‘Primate Love’ (in English).
Soundwalk Collective is an experimental sound collective helmed by Stephan Crasneanscki in collaboration with Simone Merli, which operates in a continuously rotating constellation of sound artists and musicians. The Collective’s approach to composition combines anthropology, ethnography, non-linear narrative, psycho- geography, the observation of nature, and explorations in recording and synthesis.