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𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 - this week: A.I. Jesus - Kaminski

Welcome all to 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝘼𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩 𝙎𝙥𝙤𝙩𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 playlists.


𝘼.𝙄. 𝙅𝙚𝙨𝙪𝙨 - 𝙆𝙖𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙨𝙠𝙞


Charles pretends to be intelligent…


I told myself I wouldn't do this. I thought it would be unlikely that I ever write this piece. I have hinted at it in the past, I have mentioned it in passing in the odd article over the weeks and months, but I never thought I would cover it fully. However, as time goes on, I increasingly receive messages and comments strongly urging me to write about it. And my passion and emotion on the subject has become too strong to ignore. I will finally speak my thoughts on A.I. You asked for it! “A.I.” is very annoying to write. I don’t want to write A.I. without the dots, as it reminds me of Al Green, Al Di Meola and Al Jolson. Lowercase just makes it look like the sound you make when you stub your toe. Putting in the dots wreaks havoc on my obsession with punctuation. I need for a “full stop” to be a full stop, followed by a space, followed by a capital letter. Call it period pains. Because of this, from now on I will refer to A.I. as HAL. If you don’t know why, just go back 23 years.


Although I have already given you a couple of solid reasons why I am writing this, there is another reason why I have decided to write this NOW. Three Fridays ago, I did what I always do on New Music Friday (as it has been named); I listened to all the brand new releases from artists on the New Artist Spotlight. While I had written down several maybes, there was a clear “winner” in my mind, and I had pretty much decided that it was going to be the subject of my next review. I had even had messages from other artists that very morning suggesting I listen to it and potentially review it. It was clearly “the one”. But that evening I received a message from one of those artists, informing me that I should ignore the earlier strong suggestion. The reason left me feeling ill. I mean, I actually thought I was going to be sick. It was a similar feeling to the moment you’re told someone you know has died. All thoughts and no thoughts. The song was in fact entirely generated by HAL. I very nearly reviewed and praised the brilliance of a robot. Just try to imagine how that made me feel. To know that I have used more effort and creativity in this paragraph than the “artist” had used for “their” entire song. In being professional, I will not name this artist. Another related reason I felt that NOW was the time to write this, was that in the last 3 weeks I have been getting HAL generated comments on my reviews. This is not only intensely lazy (can one be intensely lazy?), but it is deeply insulting. Not only to me, but to the other readers who have bothered to read the article and write a thoughtful comment. This is a NO A.I. ZONE.


The main reason I had put off writing about this topic is because it is just so humungous and evolving at such a rapid pace. Where do I start with something like this? Has there ever been anything like this? Frankly, no. Many will tell you this has happened time and time again over the decades and centuries, most notably and initially with the industrial revolution. People (or rather, their livelihood) have been replaced by machines. This is the fortunate and unfortunate way of modernity. There is good and bad from this. If we look at music in more recent times, we’ll see drummers in the 80s worrying that drum machines would take their job. Did it? Of course not. The drum machine was never imitating a real drummer. It was simply something new and different. The drummers were safe. But these days with virtual instruments, it gets more worrying. A direct (and brilliantly realistic) imitation of a real drummer. Should they now be worried? Well, there will certainly be less call for them, there’s no doubting that. But so far, I have never quite managed to get as good a sound from virtual drums as with real drums, when mixing. Actually that’s not quite true. I mean WELL RECORDED real drums. The thing is, in no time at all, I don’t doubt that virtual drummers will be as good as the very best real drummers. Not a nice feeling for those drummers out there. The same goes for all instruments. I myself use virtual strings recorded in EastWest Studios in Los Angeles, and Abbey Road Studios in London. And yet I don’t even have to pay for the cab to get there! Wonderful for the artist, but not so good for the virtuoso players themselves, whose livings depend on it. Sad, but the way of everything these days. And I am guilty of speeding along this change. The thing is, none of this has anything to do with HAL. This is simply brilliantly clever technology. All we have here is superior sound. The notes, rhythms, timing, technique and nuance (not to mention lyrics) have to come from us: the artist. While THIS kind of technology hugely helps me in my own job as a producer and sound engineer, HAL is very much a concern. I will admit I do fear my job being stolen from me. But those who have worked with me will know my meticulous attention to detail, and how I go far beyond simply "mixing". You see, there is a huge difference between knowledge and experience. Think of it like theory vs practice. All very different in the real world... I’m in the real world, which is more than I can say for HAL.


Incredibly, the “artists” who currently use this magic HAL software seem to have a certain kind of smug, arrogant pride about them, as if they believe that the “final mix” has anything to do with their own talent. They state that it is their own creation because there is "an art to word prompting"...! Yep, I have actually heard people say this. This is a warped frame of mind, akin to thinking I can paint like John Constable because I can type “landscape painting in the style of John Constable”. How about if I type “painting old Paris scene people”? Now I’m as great as Renoir! Maybe even greater because I did it faster. So in music, say I want strings in a certain section… Here, I type “strings soft then building tension”. Done. I’m a genius. JESUS!!! Sir James Dyson did not invent the bladeless hairdryer by typing “bladeless hairdryer how it works blueprints”. It still remains an utterly pointless invention, and amazingly still has a massive hulking great cord attached to it. The important thing is, it made him a lot of money. Look, you bought it!


You see, as artists, we are here to invent. To create. To make art. As the years pass, we have less and less to do, because machines do it all for us. I have said this once or twice before, but art really is all we have left to ourselves as humans. How we achieved a specific sound is not really so important. It’s about the composition itself. It is about human expression and honed skill through years of dedicated experience. In art, we want not only to be moved, but to be impressed. We want to see what humans are capable of. On Sunday evening I watched the final Harry Potter film. It was... all right. As you all know, Harry Potter is all about magic. Which for me is what kills the plot and the tension. ANYTHING is possible. Literally limitless. Which made the film very dull. The same goes for visual effects in general. Once ANYTHING is possible, we are numbed to the extent that nothing is thrilling anymore. Being "only human", we have our limits. But we try to stretch these limits as far as we can. Listening to Abbey Road by The Beatles, Thriller by Michael Jackson, or Homogenic by Björk, what do you hear? Yes, you hear brilliance. But what else? What do they have in common? I'll give you a clue. Think outside the box. That's right: Originality! They were like nothing that came before. And it is this spark of genius that can only come from a human. Because we are non-algorithmic. We are the true non-binaries. Will robots ever manage this kind of randomity? I do hope not. But it is quite plausible actually. And it is at that point that we start to question our purpose here on Earth. Is it simply to work, earn, spend and "consume content"? Are we just to be literal consumers?


Speaking of consumed content, when I publish these weekly articles on the New Artist Spotlight website every week, I have a blank page in front of me. But lately, it looks different. It asks me if I would like HAL to write the article for me…! This is insanity!!! “Content”. This blasted modern use of the the word “Content”. It makes me feel anything but content. If I can’t be bothered to put the article together myself, how can I possibly expect anyone to bother to read it?? Besides, “putting it together” is all part of the fun and part of the point. I browse my mind for bits and bobs lurking from the past and the present, and I see what might work for the current week. Could HAL do this? Some people say that HAL is stealing and copying everything that already exists. Others say that this is what humans have always done. It's called influence. And this is where I find a big fat grey area. What is the difference? To me, the difference is that while one is human, the other is not. But does this actually matter? I think it does. It probably technically shouldn't, but it does. And I can’t really explain why. HAL shouldn’t be left crying in the corner though. It certainly has its positive advantageous potential uses. Anything manual. This is where it will excel. And unlike people, it won’t complain about the boredom of these monotonous jobs. But there’s also science. In medicine it can do the work of several months in just a few hours. This can create huge and fast advances in medical breakthroughs (breaksthrough?). That is, if nothing goes wrong… Things go wrong, right? Right. How can I possibly fault HAL for possible errors when humans also make errors? What’s the difference? The difference is, people have experience. HAL is brand new, and basically untested. Yet we all apparently rush to put our immediate faith in it. This is completely crazy to me. We’re talking about medicine here. Imagine an error is found somewhere amongst 18 trillion calculations. Where on Earth does one start?? Now imagine the error was not discovered. HAL says this is the answer. It’s like when pocket calculators came along in the 70s. Whatever it said on the screen was obviously the answer. Besides, everyone knows that 7 times 2 equals 9… Ugh. We stopped thinking. Let me get one thing straight though. I am not saying there is NO place for HAL in the world of art. I am simply saying there is no place for HAL in the creative side of it. For example, if you have a poor recording of a good vocal take, recorded in a room with bad acoustics, this computer magic can remove the room's natural reverb from the recording. It can isolate the actual dry vocal from its reflections. Very clever, and very useful. But this is a million miles away from asking it to sing a full melody in the voice of Ella Fitzgerald, complete with lyrics in the style of Eminem. And why are we ASKING, by the way?? TELL IT! It's a machine! Don’t be so polite! It is not your new friend. It is not human. It is not even living. Don't get attached to it. Lord knows how many mental problems this will bring in the near future as people start to treat it as a person...


I have watched and read a lot on the subject of HAL in music. Opinions tend to be divided into two categories:


a) This has all happened before. Embrace it.

b) We're all going to die.


I would like to say that I am somewhere in the middle, but really I think I am not close to either, with a certain sway towards the negative. But this is not pessimism. This is me being observant, realistic and logical. The difference between pessimism and the way I see the world, is that I always hope to be proved wrong. But let’s look at option a) for a minute. “Embrace it. Look, it's coming whether you like it or not”. It is not just coming, it is here already. And will simply get bigger - and fast. "Embrace it”, is not the obvious thing if forced into something dreadful that you want no part of. Take war for example… “Don't get depressed, you should learn to embrace it! Maybe it's a good thing! A fresh start!” - this is what we call insanity. A laugh without the humour. The difference with war is that it will eventually come to an end. I urge you as artists to shun HAL. If the Nazis are stomping all over your turf, demolishing and brutally killing everything that means anything to you, do you naturally join them and go over to the other side? Or do you fight to the death? Are we really supposed to take on the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” attitude…? These days we are so often told to “embrace” things that are inevitable and unstoppable. When police forces can't deal with a certain crime and whole nations are crippled by it, governments are forced to "legalise" said law. Because it's impossible to police. This is not a reason to legalise something. Speaking of governments, what measures have any governments taken to curb and control this dreaded HAL thing worldwide? I will now detail all those measures in bullet points, unabridged:



Well, that didn't take long, did it.


Aren't we being rather too forgiving and accepting? Aren't we getting a little bit soft? As soft as the fleece of a sheep? And is this our only similarity to this animal? Jesus! “A.I. Jesus”, to quote Kaminski. We FINALLY come down to Earth for this week’s pick. You remember Earth. That place for humans to be human, rather than drones. This week I was desperately in need of REAL. I needed to be immersed in analog everything. I craved an overdose of human. And WHAT a human I got! Derek A. Kuipers (Kaminski) and I seem to speak the same language. I mean, that’s not actually true. We speak different languages, for I am English and he is Dutch. But when it comes to things and stuff, we seem to naturally connect and merge in opinion, thought, feeling and even emotion. We are powered by the same fuel. The difference being that aside from music, he is a scientist. Aside from music, I am a musician. We do have philosophy in common though. The difference being, his claim is official. He has a PhD. I just spout some old guff in a weekly thing that’s supposed to be about a song that I’m supposedly supposed to be reviewing but not really. Not only is he a D of Ph, but TODAY he is officially being inducted into the NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences as a professor. Professor of what, I hear you cry? Professor of Design Driven Innovation, no less! I’m really not sure if he would like this to be known, but I see no reason for something so impressive to be kept a secret. Especially when I simply got most of this from Google. Anyway. In this inauguration today, there will be a ceremony. And in this ceremony, Derek will be delivering a speech. Being naturally shy and private, and not enjoying too much attention, this might be a bit of an ordeal for him (possibly along with this article). But it will be brilliant, and it will be genuine. How do I know this? Because I know the subject of said speech. He will be speaking about how art can be thought provoking, and how art can help us ask questions. Yes, this is a scientist speaking. But many scientists have huge admiration for art. And in the case of Derek, it goes far further than admiration. He is a true artist. This is Kaminski.


“A.I. Jesus” is the brand new single from the man who brought you Hands and Black Salad. To me, he is unique. He is himself. He is as pure as art gets. A man with his mind and a barrel of instruments. He does everything himself from first idea to final mix. And yet (ironically), in his job/career, he is very much working with HAL. Because he sees its clear potential. Just not in art. Art remains a purely organic thing for him. And I really feel it! I think any listener would. Whether you’re a fan of his music or not, you will not fail to hear the skill and heart involved. The passion (of the A.I. Christ?). His attention to detail is something I have always admired about his work. Almost obsessively so. Maybe not "almost". While the main importance of this song probably lies in its words, the music goes right through you like a vividly solid dream. It has weight in a playful way. Heavy melodies come at you from all angles like you’ve just pulled a party popper, then watched the footage in reverse. At little more than two minutes (yes, I know you’re all wishing this article had been little more than 2 minutes - or less, even), A.I. Jesus doesn’t have time to do a lot. Especially as it is slow, and has an intro. While I do actually wish it were longer, it does everything it had intended to do. It doesn’t explode and drastically morph into something else. It just is how it is. And the great thing about especially brief songs is that I do find myself playing them again and again. Providing they’re good. Which this is. Very. I’m really not sure what it is about Kaminski’s style, but he always seems to make things personal while stepping back. He almost whispers, yet is observing from afar. Possibly to catch your reactions through splayed fingers. There is something forever classic about his sound. Not retro, but classic. His foundations are in the old stuff, but his sound is utterly fresh. Like a fresh flower that first bloomed in the 1969 - it never died, and remains vibrant to this day.


But on to those words of his. If you can’t quite make them out from the song, HERE is a beautiful little lyric video fit for the occasion. This very video he will be using while presenting his speech today - isn’t it wonderful how he is able to draw together his art and his career? Many of you might assume that this perfectly charming video is made with/by HAL. But this is Kaminski... Instead, he simply commissioned an artist to draw various characters. Derek “prompted” the artist with what he had had in mind. So, in other words, it made sense. It was all done the human way. The traditional way we used to do things way back in, ooooh, 2022. An artist asked an artist to make art in order to add a further dimension to his own art. Now, isn’t that satisfying? The characters look drawn because they ARE drawn. Why bother with all the bother of trying to get a robot to imitate a drawing by a person, when a person can do it? Seems thoroughly logical to me! But aside from the bother, isn’t it just more comforting, more satisfying and more meaningful to know that the whole of this thing with music and video was a purely human endeavour? Just artists being artists? And that no one had to hide or pretend? As to the words themselves, well, I personally think he’s spot on. I’ll let you be the judge of that. I’ll tell you one thing, though; it’s all proof that art is thought provoking, and it certainly makes you ask questions. Doesn’t it?


Derek, I’ve kept YOUR side of this article relatively brief so you don’t feel too awkward. I know you don’t like attention that much. But come on, man! When you make music THIS good, how could it NOT receive attention??


I am fully aware that HAL is a divisive topic and very much a subject for debate, but I don't wish to spark angry arguments in any way. I simply wish for the creation of art to remain purely human. I ask that you be civil in the comments.


With his skills and experience, Derek will no doubt be creating things far more useful than a bladeless hairdryer. Or he could simply improve upon it by making it cordless. Magic - no virtual strings attached! Move over, Dyson!


This article was entirely written by A.I.








(just kidding)



Listen to 𝘼.𝙄. 𝙅𝙚𝙨𝙪𝙨 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Spotify playlist HERE!

Listen to 𝘼.𝙄. 𝙅𝙚𝙨𝙪𝙨 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Apple Music playlist HERE!

Watch 𝘼.𝙄. 𝙅𝙚𝙨𝙪𝙨 on YouTube HERE!


Follow 𝙆𝙖𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙨𝙠𝙞 on Instagram HERE!

Follow 𝙆𝙖𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙨𝙠𝙞 on TwiX HERE!


Please share this post and let me know your thoughts in the comments below



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192 комментария


Boy HaNZY
Boy HaNZY
23 июн.

Great Article as always 🍺

Лайк
Kaminski
Kaminski
26 июн.
Ответ пользователю

I liked the article a lot. Song mwah.

Лайк

ZOLEON
ZOLEON
23 июн.

This was interesting had a good reading session, keep up the good work 💯🥂

Лайк

Emma Dupéré
Emma Dupéré
23 июн.

Really interesting review, maybe I will have to read it one more time ;-) and a great song ! thanks


Лайк

steveokwormusic
steveokwormusic
23 июн.

I love this review so much but also find the topic discussed regarding AI scary. By the looks of things, it seems like AI has already started taking over human creativity. It was just this year that screenwriters went on strike for the fear that AI could take away their jobs. I love the song so much. I’m glad it was not done by AI. Good job Kaminski!

Лайк
Ответ пользователю

Thanks, Steve! You're the second person here to mention the screenwriters being up in arms over this outrageous situation. Appalling. I just can't believe this is happening.

Лайк

Impressive effort for someone who does it all themselves! Great review as always! Great song name too...

Лайк

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