6 Peace (Mute)

Schneider TM 

6 Peace (Mute)

The Smiths, perhaps more than any other band, embodied humanity at its most sensitive and vulnerable. So it's profoundly disconcerting to hear a vocoder voice reciting the group's "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out." Less jarring, yet still somewhat spooky, is "Frogstears," on which the same robo-crooner strums a country-fried ditty on an acoustic guitar. If machinery can replicate emotive outbursts and campfire laments, what hope remains for flesh-and-blood musicians?

Fortunately, the apparent android in question is actually Dirk Dresselhaus, a verified Homo sapiens who records under the name Schneider TM. Fluent in bloops and blurts, as he demonstrates on the squiggling symphony "Chotto Matte," Schneider TM differentiates himself from his computer-language-only peers by speaking English, albeit with a highly processed delivery. He issues foreboding phrases such as beware of the matrix and bad moon rising, he harmonizes with himself, he even spits out the f-word -- all through a metallic filter that makes him sound like he's talking directly into a running faucet.

When remixer Kptmichigan strips Schneider TM's vocals naked, he removes not only their cloak but also their skin. "Fruktos" takes a Sea Change-style confessional, shreds it thoroughly, then imperfectly pastes it back together so that sliced words overlap or don't quite connect. Traditional singer-songwriters depict fractured souls; Kptmichigan arranges "Fruktos" so that it's all but a visual manifestation of the phenomenon. As such, it might be one of the year's most moving -- and most human -- compositions.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Andrew Miller

Latest in Hear & Now

Facebook Activity

All contents ©2015 Kansas City Pitch LLC
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Kansas City Pitch LLC,
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.

All contents © 2012 SouthComm, Inc. 210 12th Ave S. Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 244-7989.
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of SouthComm, Inc.
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
Website powered by Foundation