The last few years have seen no dearth of Kid Smpl material with the San Francisco-based artist approaching topics of decay, loss and aspiration through releases on Hush Hush, Symbols and his own nascent DISPLAY mixfile label. This November 11, Smpl will release the Privacy LP on Symbols, his first full length for Kastle’s Los Angeles-based label and a sprawling effort trained on the contradictions inherent in everyday digital life. With a keen understanding of histories, both personal and musical, Smpl approaches oft-unspoken, but deeply important issues of dissociation, isolation and hyper-connectivity that seep out of our digital lives and into our psyches. With a deep sense of ambience and rave emissions as building blocks, Privacy is stunning at times and grotesque at others, an album that manages to walk the line between universality and emotional specificity with ease.
Accompanied by three music videos developed by linking Unity, a video game engine platform, with Ableton, Privacy is a deeply visual album, both in terms of cinematic imagery (speeding cars, twisted metal, bits of glossalia-esque dialogue) and its conceptual scope. Not one to shy away from tempestuous sound design, Privacy twists in and out of the listener’s grasp, foregrounding wispy memories before erupting into euphoria, alternately conveyed through pillow soft pads and teeth-clenching major chords. Like the quotidian digital experience, contradiction is at the heart of Privacy and the feelings and sensations elicited throughout its 13 tracks aren’t always clear. More often than not the album inhabits spaces of duality, but the dedicated listener will be rewarded by the essentially modern subject matter within.
Music Video TRILOGY [Created by Kid Smpl]
The visuals were created and recorded in Unity by Kid Smpl and are a sneak peak into his new A/V show. This video game engine allows him to create his own virtual space and essentially realize an environment for the music. Every change that you see happening, except for camera movement, is caused by audio signals received from Ableton Live and Unity reacts to that in real time. You can think of it as Ableton sending input information to the engine much like a player would with a controller but instead of a player hitting "x" to jump Ableton sends a particular frequency to make a light flash.