In his music, connect_icut (real name Samuel Macklin) aims to remove the distinctions between instinct and intellect, chaos and order, organic and synthetic, analog and digital. This work may be deemed ‘glitch’ or ‘post-digital’, but one thing is for sure – this is a mixture of melodic elements and rarefied abstraction with intense modulations that flare up between the cracks of mysterious geometrical passages.
Releasing music since 2005, some of it has met with significant success. The Wire Magazine commented that it was “always involving – and easily rewarding enough to make getting up and turning the record over an anticipatory pleasure”. Thurston Moore and Byron Coley (via Arthur Magazine) also noted this music “takes a lot of standard ‘pretty’ electronic practices and flops them over on their sides… There’s pop crafting here, but it’s subtle and allowed to evolve in its own darkly idiosyncratic way”.
connect_icut released ‘Crow & Kittiwakes Wheel and Come Again’ (2013) and ‘Small Town by the Sea’ (2014), both via Aagoo Records, to wide acclaim, followed by ‘Rage Coma’ (2017). While those albums were mostly created using computer software, this new EP is essentially a test recording for a new all-hardware set-up.
Whereas other electronic music producers making the software/hardware switch have simultaneously adopted an analog-only approach, connect_icut remains firmly rooted in the digital realm. The six extended tracks collected here delve into the granular synthesis techniques developed by computer music pioneers like Curtis Roads, Barry Truax, and Guy Reibel – only without using a computer, as such.
This music also differs from that of the aforementioned pioneers in its rawness and spontaneity. The source sounds were created with whatever was at hand, which usually turned out to be a Casio SK-1 toy sampler. The finished tracks are both proof-of-concept test runs and seat-of-the-pants improvisations. Somewhere along the line, this resulted in surprisingly beautiful music.
It anchors all manner of chaotic abstraction in a solid foundation that is fundamentally grounded in hands-on performance and spontaneous composition. Live connect_icut appearances have included support slots for a number of notable electronic artists including Oneohtrix Point Never and Loscil.
In support of this new release, connect_icut also presents the video for ‘Simonson’, emphasizing radiant pixels and glowing digital abstraction.