In 1962 the information scientists at Bell Labs, led by Max Mathews, released what I thought was the first record with digital music: Music from Mathematics. I just noticed that they released a 10″ the year before though, and it has this cover which is quite interesting. It shows three things at once:
1) Man as master. He is the conductor that controls the machines.
2) Machine as master. Human control is merely an illusion. The conductor doesn’t actually control anything, and the picture doesn’t try to show it either. But without the conductor, the record cover would re-inforce the technophobia that was apparent at the time. The conductor bring a humanist quality. But…
3) The text says that the music comes from mathematics. Not from machines nor humans.
This is relevant for chipmusic, which is described both as “humans re-gaining control of technology” and “technology producing music”. Technodeterminism and technolibertarianism. It’s based on the separation of man and machine that was questioned already when this record was released, by cybernetic theorists. Today there’s plenty of interesting philosophy on this topic, which I will deal with later on. For now, just google for speculative realism or object-oriented ontology and try to make sense of it yourself :)
Now off to soundcheck for Hatebit!