PAN to release new album by Berlin’s Konrad Sprenger titled “Stack Music,” in preemptive honor of our circuited overlords

PAN to release new album by Berlin's Konrad Sprenger titled "Stack Music," in preemptive honor of our circuited overlords

You know how things are going these days. Society seems to be anticipating automation as the widespread usurper of many traditionally human-powered jobs — which, in my case, fortunately just means that I won’t have to encounter those judging eyes every time I request “no mustard” on my fast food sandwiches (Seriously, do these cashiers belong to some new religious denomination that uses “Heinz” instead of water for its zealous daily baptisms?)

On a distantly-related note, it’s worth pointing out that an arguably more-harmless form of automation has been taking hold in the creative world more-or-less since digital music software first became a thing. For example, Berlin-based Konrad Sprenger (real name: Jörg Hiller) is one musician who tacitly scoffs at using instruments in the traditional way. “Why use my hands and fingers like a sucker when my laptop can control the guitar and create cooler sounds?,” he might well have asked himself (in German, though) at one point.

And his new album Stack Music, out June 2 on PAN, seems like the perfect answer to that rhetorical question. Sprenger’s process on the album originates from “rhythmic patterns based on the Euclidean algorithm,” which were patched via computer into a multi-channel electric guitar. The custom instrument was an ideal solution due to the harmonic complexity of guitar strings (something most synthetic instruments can’t imitate with fidelity) and because of Hiller’s desire to control aspects of the guitar (such as attack length or pitch) with greater nuance. The resulting futuristic sounds resemble (somewhat ironically) a Baroque-era harpsichord as much as they do a guitar, while the compositions themselves stem from more modern, minimalist impulses.

Speaking of impulses, here’s the pre-order link so that you can impulse-buy the thing (from a computer instead of a human). And in the mean time, here’s an infinitely-reproducible digital vid for what Sprenger’s tech-decked new album will almost certainly not sound like:

Stack Music tracklisting:

01. Opening
02. Finale
03. Rondo
04. Largo

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