Wrangler, the avant-garde all-star musical art project of Stephen Mallinder (founding member of Cabaret Voltaire), Benge (John Foxx and the Maths) and Phil Winter (Tunng) have returned with their new album, A Situation, which is out now on Indie label Bella Union.
Today, in promotion of their latest LP, the followup to 2016’s White Glue, the synth triad have uploaded their funky analogue critique our ever-expanding evolution in tandem with technology.
As the band explains:
“Our relationship with technology is increasingly complicated, we are becoming subsumed into much of it. Generative, algorithmic, self-referencing: technology knows us more about us than we know about it.
Do we fear it or do we accelerate with it? … it is us!
We shape tools and thereafter the tools shape us, someone close to Marshall Mac once said”
Regarding the video, directed by Akiko Haruna, the trio add:
“AI with headsets, fractal overload, seductive digital infinity and who doesn’t want cows to experience virtual reality? … Akiko Haruna and Jedd Winterburn cut loose – sublime beauty in the binary mess – capturing the funk and fear of our deep state tech world.. visual seduction of the highest order”
And Akiko herself, for her part in directing the video featuring the work of 3D animator Jedd Winterburn, adds:
“Machines Designed (To Eat You Up) is a track that mentions the advancements in digital technologies. Specifically how surveillance and communication devices are allowing machines to weave deeper into our daily lives.
I had the pleasure of sharing the creative direction and creation of this video with visual artist and 3D animator Jedd Winterburn. Jedd and I found many hilarious articles on the internet about the future of AI and digital technology whilst researching for the video. We came across an article about how Russia had been testing Virtual-Reality headsets on cows, and we couldn’t shake this bizarre image from our heads.
The video shows a world of mirrored rooms where everything is controlled by the ‘Machine’ (represented by a Cog). In one of the rooms cows are fed a disorienting experience through a Virtual-Reality headset, their milk pumped into the ‘Machine’, then out into another room where it is injected into the mouth of a human who is also wearing a VR headset.
We often consume whatever is fed to us, without taking the time to see the reality of what is behind the screen. Our devices can be all-consuming at times. We don’t mean to say this is always necessarily wrong, as the future of AI and VR excites us greatly.”
Watch the video for “Machines Designed (To Eat You Up)” below:
A Situation is out now via Indie label Bella Union.