BARKER - UTILITY LP
Format: 2 X 12"
Back in: 10th January 2020
Now, on his debut solo LP Utility, Barker turns his focus toward melding experimentation and dancefloor pragmatism with the psychology behind the musical decision making process. In his own words: “After ‘Debiasing’ it occurred to me that my musical decisions were often unintentionally utilitarian, following an
instinct to maximize pleasure in one way or another. It’s sort of unfashionable to admit, but by removing elements that have strong genre associations, this became a natural consequence.”
Accordingly, Utility is a playful but non-ironic musical approach to a whole spectrum of utilitarian and transhumanist ideas: from models for quantifying pleasure and “gradients of bliss” to abolishing suffering for sentient beings (not just people) through the ethical use of drugs and nanotechnology. Over nine tracks,
Barker’s vision ebbs and flows through waves of deeply psychedelic musical vignettes; free-floating and futuristic melodies and rhythms as targeted brain stimulation. The sound draws heavily on modular synthesis, as well as self-built mechanical instruments and plate reverbs to create atmospheres that are at
once alien and emotionally recognizable, functional and utopian.
Utility is by no means a concept album. Instead, it is an honest take on music as both pleasuremaximizer and consciousness-expander.
1/A1. Paradise Engineering
2/A2. Posmean3/A3. Experience Machines
4/B1. Gradients Of Bliss
5/B2. Hedonic Treadmill
6/C1. Models Of Wellbeing
9/D2. Die-Hards Of The Darwinian Order