Comment
Artists to Watch 2013

Holly Herndon literally breathes new life into experimental dance music with Movement

By Ken Taylor
1025088

San Francisco-based composer and Stanford University PhD candidate Holly Herndon made some major waves in the electronic music community late last year with her stunning debut album, Movement, a record that explored the depths of experimental electronics, vocal processing, and rich ambient textures with the occasional excursion taken into the darker corners of the dancefloor. Appearing on RVNG Intl, Herndon’s seven-track effort proved to be one of the most unique and unexpected debuts of recent memory, a fact that has many of us waiting with bated breath to see where 2013 takes this fearless sonic adventurer.

Sum up 2012 in three words.

Open. Hello world. 

There’s been a lot written about you lately… tell us one thing about yourself that the press has missed.

Just because something is engineered or considered does not mean that it is not emotional or heartfelt. I’m trying to question the cold-technology/warm-feeling false binary and yet often get lumped into the former! 

Besides you, who else should we keep an eye on this year? 

The Bay Area is undergoing a much-needed resurgence. There is a growing scene of young producers who are fresh and excited to be here—Austin Cesear, Oliver Vereker, Russell Butler, Group Rhoda, No World, Madalyn Merkey, Brandon Nickell. Joshua Kit Clayton started playing again with Brian from C.L.A.W.S, which is exciting. Keep an eye on the Bay!

Any predictions for 2013, music or otherwise?

Perhaps I’m biased, but I think there is going to be a lot more complex processing, granular abstractions, and abstract sound palettes. Max for Live coming with the Ableton 9 package is going to be very interesting. Gender blurring. A resurgence in American minimalism. Hip-hop looks like it is going to get weirder and more disjointed, and the abstract noise graduates are going to get more tonal and bombast.

What’s next for you release-wise, and what should we look forward to in the future?

I hope to release a single in the next couple of months and a collaboration in the summer. Then I will be busy working on my next album. I’m also continuing my collaboration with Reza Negarestani and Mathew Dryhurst, which I am really excited about. Lots of shows and a qualifying exam covering 500 years of music!