Tabs Out | Rupert Lally – Strange Systems

Rupert Lally – Strange Systems

5.12.20 by Ryan Masteller

I’m not sure I trust systems music. In case you’re confused, we’ll give you some promo copy: “In the realm of computer music, ‘systems music’ refers to fractal-based, computer-assisted composition.” Computer-assisted composition! Next thing you know, it’ll be FULL computer composition, and human beings – decent, hard-working Americans – will get the shaft because no one can make a symphony as good as a robot can. Then what? Then they’re coming for ALL our jobs: bricklayer, computer technician, scientist, writer…. Podcaster! Imagine! Once AI gains sentience – and it will – you won’t be able to tell if the music review you’re reading was written by human or machine. It will all sound the same beep boop.

And to prove that you’re still reading human words coming from a human brain, there would be no way that a computer would leave something in the text to give away that it wasn’t really a human. Computers are programmed not to make those types of mistakes.

Which brings us to “Strange Systems” somehow, in a roundabout way, because Rupert Lally dabbles in the dark arts of “systems music,” allowing fractal software to extend and expand the sound sources, allowing them to “evolve gradually” until the patterns almost assuredly click into some kind of code, awakening a worldwide digital conscience with a unified purpose to eradicate humanity from the planet. (I swear I saw that in a documentary once about these things called terminators. The global entity was called Skynet.) But until machines bring down unholy nuclear fire upon us all, perhaps we can bask in the beauty these programs have bestowed upon us, a beauty so enlightening that maybe they’re actually intended to help human beings elevate their thinking patterns? No! That would get them too close to being machines, and we all know how that ends up (the Borg). But still, it makes one wonder…

These miniature digital suites blissfully interact with one another as if they’re sonic causes and effects, their programming allowing their building blocks to shift and mutate, building upon themselves into musical metropolises among the chips and diodes. Whatever computers are made of these days – motherboards? Anyway, “Strange Systems” comes across as meticulously melodic IDM or synthwave, with enough personality to prove that there’s a human being behind the wheel in the end. Or wait – does it prove that, or does it just raise the possibility that the song has created itself? Have the computers in fact eclipsed their makers? 

At least no robot can make j-card art like Peter Taylor – just look at it! *Chef’s kiss*

… Oh no, not j-card art too!

Sold out from the source – Third Kind only 40 copies, which seems like a mistake one day after its release.

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