Tuesday, May 26, 2009


We’re late on it, but here’s a perceptive essay for Frieze magazine by DJ /rupture about the uses and meanings of Auto-Tune. The stuff about its uses in North African music is something Brian Eno should maybe think about next time he feels the need to spout his guff about how Africans can’t bear to sit still and work at computers.

Near the end of the article he writes about Champion DJ’s “Baako” which “is built around a baby crying through Auto-Tune. The software bends the baby’s anguish into eerie musicality. The ear likes it. The mind isn’t so sure. “Baako” is disturbing. The aestheticized cry no longer corresponds to any normal emotion.”

“Baako” sounds a bit like the mewling baby from the untouchable “Are You That Somebody” by Aaliyah did a Jordy and went solo. And a bit like the end of end of Donald Cammell’s 1977 computer-horror film Demon Seed when the part-human part-computer offspring of Julie Christie and a computerised house is born. Or maybe like the lil Lil Wayne from the front of “Tha Carter III” calling for a (literal) lollipop. Apparently the baby voice is taken from this.

DJ Champion - Baako [ysi]

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