Slipped Disc: Harmonic 313 - When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence

[16 December 2009]

By David Abravanel

cover art

Harmonic 313

When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence

(Warp)

Mark Pritchard is an incredible musical chameleon—while the earlier half of this decade saw him making an homage to library records with the mellotron-filled Harmonic 33 project, that little “1”–-also a nod to the Detroit influence—changes the game to hip-hop, techno, and dubstep. Taking cues from J-Dilla and Cybotron, Machines is a reflectively cold, yet subtly satirical take on retro-futurism. Tracks like “Galag-A”, with its classic video game title and decayed faux-Plaid synths, look inward at the mechanical visions of the future from yesteryear. “Falling Away”, with Steve Spacek, puts a human voice to the achingly expressive beats. Machines is an unmitigated triumph and a career high-point; given that Mark Pritchard was one half of Global Communication, the duo responsible for timeless ambient house classic 76:14, that’s saying something.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/post/117969-slipped-disc-harmonic-313-when-machines-exceed-human-intelligence/