Machine Alliance


At what point does a new tool or technology become so integral to a process as to be intrinsic? And what happens if that technology starts to subordinate its user? By reflecting on these questions, Machine Alliance, the new EP by Irish producer Kerrie on Tresor Records, connects her music to the sci-fi origins of techno and electronic music in general. With inspiration from classic books and films of the genre such as The Machine Stops, The Matrix, and Blade Runner, as well as modern explorations in art and philosophy like Free Your Mind and Techno poly, the EP's title takes on two opposing but intersecting meanings. One, based on the potential for machines to take over or replace humans, is a key idea of sci-fi that seems closer to reality with the arrival of machine learning and real artificial intelligence. The second has a much more positive view, one where the "alliance" is between the artist and machine to create the music, a process she places immense value on, being both cathartic and therapeutic, whilst also being a vehicle of addition and expansion: "I feel that it's a collaboration -- the machines are precise in their timing and I add the human touch (literally) in the live performance which adds natural imperfections, so we both provide something the other can't. There's also an element of growth; the machines get updates and so are always expanding in terms of their musical capabilities. And the more I push my own technical abilities I feel we are growing together in a constant synchronized dance." This "dance" results in four tracks of classic machine funk which combine the aforementioned ideas in sci-fi with a deep lifelong affection for techno. Tracks like "Ode to the D" and "Technopoly Dream" display this love through her choice of sounds and structure, both intentional and subconscious, while "Replicants" and "Human in the Loop" project into other genres to fully round this release off as a contemporary example of music rooted in both past and future.