Skip to main content
Loading...

Mobile mgid

Ash Koosha - Return 0 Music Album Reviews

The London IDM polymath’s fourth album puts artificial intelligence in the composer’s seat, rounding out computer-generated rhythms and melodies with AI-penned lyrics sung by Koosha himself.

Over the last decade human beings have gotten used to artificial intelligence nuzzling into our everyday lives. Virtual assistants like Siri have normalized the idea of chatting away to our devices, the self-driving car is (almost) a reality, and computers have trounced humans at everything from Go to “Jeopardy!” Computer-created music, however, remains something of a moot point. While computers are present in some form in the vast majority of modern recordings, the idea of a computer actually composing is at odds with a widely held belief in music as a deeply felt form of human expression.

Return 0, the fourth album from the London IDM polymath Ash Koosha, pushes against these notions. Koosha, who has previously dabbled in VR and spatial computing, used generative software to create melodies, arpeggios, and chord sequences that he then arranged into their final form on Return 0. “Humans are best at taste because we have intention in finalizing and presenting something,” he explained in a recent interview. “The computer can create arpeggios and melodies—parts that I don’t necessarily want to spend time on.” This interplay between human and machine is perhaps best seen in the album’s vocal lines, which Koosha sings from melodies and lyrics generated by computer. Or, as he puts it, “I perform the machine’s output as voice.”

Without wanting to sound like the last human apologist in front of our silicon overlords, these human-sung vocals are probably the most satisfactory part of Return 0. Previous attempts at computer-generated music have tended to deliver songs that are catchy without tapping into much human emotion—a predictable result for work born out of analysing vast amounts of data—and the same happens here. “Muzikenono” has a circular vocal melody that unwinds like a great spiritual yawn from the depths of the speakers, while “Wild Heart” immerses a soaring vocal run in the haunting sound of the Kamancheh, an Iranian bowed string instrument. Strong as these melodies are, though, they really flourish thanks to the producer’s effects-laden voice, which injects a touch of humanity that was notably absent on “Yona 1.1 (feat. Yona),” a song on Koosha’s previous album, Aktual, that was sung by a computer.

Musically, the album is more disappointing, for reasons attributable to both humans and computers. While there are moments of instrumental brilliance on Return 0—notably “Redempshun”’s warped neo-classical procession, which brings to mind the unsettling electronics of Wendy Carlos’ A Clockwork Orange soundtrack—at many other points the album flops, as middling computer melodies come up against all-too-lenient human editing. “Reach” seems to go on about twice as long as necessary, the pointillist synth lines soon losing their charm, while “Baptizanax” is shaggy, chaotic, and ill-formed, like a repository for all the instrumental parts Koosha couldn’t fit elsewhere on the record. You wonder, too, if the producer could have done more to tidy up the album’s computer-generated lyrics, whose nonsensical nature contributes to the album’s detached air.

In the end, for all Return 0’s innovative conception, the faults that scupper the album are the same ones that Koosha has faced throughout his recording career, notably a weak editorial voice and a tendency to drift that leaves many songs sounding like noises in search of a genre. Return 0 is an interesting record that breaks new ground without coming across as too self consciously important. Ultimately, though, it ends up a proof of concept that’s more rewarding to read about than listen to. There’s lots to admire here, but frustratingly little to love.


View the original article here

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

2019 BMW i8 Review

The 2019 BMW i8 is a head-turner for its looks, which hides its plug-in powertrain. That’s good or bad, depending on your priorities.Even among six-figure cars with two doors, the 2019 BMW i8 steals stares. That could be because of the dramatic wing doors and futuristic shape, its laser headlights at night, or the 2019 i8’s silent propulsion for up to 18 miles.
Or it may steal attention because, even after more than four years on sale, it’s a very rare sight.

LG G5 Review In-Depth

Can LG take on the Galaxy S7 with a metal design, dual-cameras and an accessory slot? Here's our first LG G5 review, focusing on LG G5 design and build, LG G5 specs, LG G5 cameras and LG G5 software and apps.
Alongside the Galaxy S7, the LG G5 is one of the biggest phones (not literally) to launch in 2016 – and we're not just talking in the Android world. It's one of the heavyweights and LG will be looking to set the market alight with the G5's alternative and innovative modular design.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Review: Xiaomi Meets Android One

Users outside China and India aren't especially familiar with MIUI, but when you combine Xiaomi hardware with Android One the results are quite something. Check out our Mi A2 review for full details on this impressive budget smartphone.
Should I Buy The Xiaomi Mi A2?
The inclusion of Android One makes Xiaomi phones so much more easily accessible to UK- and US users - and that's a very good thing, finally allowing those outside its main market territories a taste of what else is out there. The Mi A2 merely whets our appetite for what's coming our way when Xiaomi officially launches in the UK on 8 November.A fantastic budget phone, the Mi A2 is just £199 and easily obtainable from Amazon. It combines decent build quality with a nice display, good all-round performance and a well-specced trio of cameras. It out-specs and out-performs every other phone in our budget smartphone chart.

BlackBerry KEYone Review

BlackBerry soliders on with a curious Android device that gets nearly everything right. It’s not for everyone though, in fact, it’s not really for anyone. But if you want a physical keyboard you will absolutely love it.
Should I Buy The BlackBerry KEYone?
But then, the KEYone is the best BlackBerry phone for years. It has (finally) successfully melded classic BlackBerry design with the necessary mix of Android and nostalgia. Importantly, the latter is only faint this time – this is a device for 2017, not 2007.If you love your iPhone or Samsung, you’ll hate the KEYone and won’t even consider buying it. But if you’ve made it to the end of this review, chances are you’re weighing up a buy. If you think you’ll love the BlackBerry KEYone, then I’m pretty certain you won’t be disappointed. You’re part of a minority, but finally BlackBerry has a phone for you that doesn’t force you to compromise.

Apple iPhone XR Review

If you aren't sure you are ready to leave the Home button behind and embrace Face ID, think again. We'll tell you why the iPhone XR is worth the sacrifice - especially because it's just as good (if not better than) the iPhone XS. Find out more in out full review.
Should I Buy The Apple iPhone XR?
The iPhone XR brings Face ID to the masses. We’re sure people will continue to rebel against the lack of Home button, but eventually we expect them to come round and embrace the larger screen, Portrait mode (front and back), animoji and memoji.We have no doubt that this will be a popular iPhone and it deserves to be. The only question is why would anyone buy an iPhone XS when the iPhone XR is just as powerful and has a bigger screen.

Like Fan Page