SOUNDWALK COLLECTIVE with Charlotte Gainsbourg. Featuring Atom™, Lyra Pramuk, Paul B. Preciado and Willem Dafoe
Double clear vinyl, 180gr., featuring a hand engraving on each side. Includes a 16-page booklet containing song lyrics and painted artwork by Stephan Crasneanscki
Analogue Foundation / April 1st 2022
Exhibition & audiovisual installation
February 2nd – July 15th @ FOROF, Foro Traiano 1a, Rome
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 Atom™, rising singer/composer/performance artist Lyra Pramuk, celebrated actor Willem Dafoe, and writer/philosopher Paul B. Preciado, the album will be available from April 1st via 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 Atom™, 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).
‘LOVOTIC’ is available as an artist edition double LP pressed on transparent vinyl, featuring a hand engraving on each side. It includes a 16-page booklet containing lyrics and painted artwork, both by Stephan Crasneanscki.
Artistic direction: Stephan Crasneanscki
All music written, composed and produced by Soundwalk Collective
Additional production: Stan Neff
Arrangement: Simone Merli, Atom™, Stan Neff
Voice processing, added programming and editing: Atom™
Additional recordings: Robert Henriques, Carlota Marques
Sound design and modular consulting: Benjamin Flesser
Mixed by Atom™
Voices: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Atom™, Lyra Pramuk, Paul B. Preciado, Willem Dafoe
Lyrics: Stephan Crasneanscki, except ‘The Age Of Mutation’ and ‘Primate Love’ by Paul B. Preciado. ‘Lovotic’ also by Atom™
Artwork by Stephan Crasneanscki
Recorded at Electric Lady Studios in NYC, Les Studios Saint Germain in Paris, Analogue Foundation Berlin
Mastered by Tim Rees at Schnittstelle, Berlin
Lacquer cut by Andreas Kauffelt. Pressed by Intakt
Produced by Analogue Foundation
Art direction advisor: Olivier Zahm
Graphic design: Corinne Thévenon Grandrieux, Catherine Barluet
Additional design & Layout: Studio Pensom, Blackbirds Inc.
Jan Rohlf, Marcus Gammel, Olivier Zahm, Radu Bogdan, Lee Foster, Erik Breuer, Corinne Thévenon, Elodie Filleul, Brian Close, Tyler Friedman, Elena Origliasso, Alessia Avallone, Handle With Care, Max Gössler, Sohichiro Matsumoto, Robert Morgan-Males, Schneidersladen Berlin, Audio-Technica