Isambard Khroustaliov – Shanzhai Acid

‘Shanzhai Acid’ takes its inspiration in equal parts from the Chinese culture of imitation electronic products that often surpass that which they imitate through punk customisation, and the ‘psychedelic consciousness’ that Mark Fisher, Jeremy Deller and Florian Hecker, amongst others, have inferred from the social and philosophical catalyst of ‘Acid’ musics.

Manifested via a kind of knock-off orchestra of mutant modules and bastardised synths conducted by DIY machine learning algorithms, it’s a construct designed to explore what kind of auditory trip this combination of opinionated, chaotic sound generators and ML can hallucinate into the world of electronic music minstrelry.

Throw the switch on this frankensteinian analogue computer and vortices of covariance, fractal geometries and nonlinear attractors are born, evolve and die as sonified complex systems in the hands of an omnivalent machine savant. Hundreds of parameters and routing assignments are invoked from hundreds of thousands of training data points, exploding the labyrinth of analogue circuitry into myriad trajectories, sometimes improvising constellations and galaxies of sound that dance and weave before collapsing in on themselves like black holes.

As these nucleic worlds evolve and collide, the rigours of musical analysis spontaneously combust, leaving only a kind of amorphous ectoplasmic string theory of sound. In this effervescent, primordial flux, noiseforms evolve and run amok, speaking in tongues, self-organising and conjuring for their listeners spontaneous creation paradoxes.

“Retrain in Cyber” they said. QED.