Algobabez’s live-coded, algorithmically abstracted, open-source basslines and polyrhythms are the epitome of practice-led sounds, and emblematic of an emerging approach to music-making known as “algorave”. Hacking around with programming code and building up processes that are then deconstructed and dismantled (and simultaneously revealed to all via computer screen projections), the improvised music-making component at the heart of Algobabez generates erratic sounds, oscillating beat loops and visceral builds/drops that fully embrace human error and instability.
Algobabez have been blasting eardrums with incorrigibly industrial synth-driven algo-pop since 2016. Formed of algo-regulars Shelly Knotts and Joanne Armitage, they use the open-source software SuperCollider to code and control patterns of weird, wonky, thumping music. Their freeform collaboration often finds algorhythmic drumming pro Armitage take the lead with the beats as synth specialist Knotts crafts the ambient textures and sound effects. Knotts is a data musician currently based in Newcastle, UK. She performs live-coded and network music internationally, collaborating with computers and other humans. She is currently studying for a PhD in live computer music at Durham University. Armitage is a creative technologist and artist working with sound, physical computing, digital media and interaction design. Based at Leeds, her current practice-based research explores how digital sound can connect with the body through haptic feedback. Burning Circuits (2017), their Fractal Meat Cuts cassette tape debut as Algobabez, offers insights into their on-stage collaboration, as they debug errors together in real time. Armitage and Knotts like to describe their project’s DNA as “okay apart, but better together: 2 babes, 2 laptops and 1 sound.”
Having already initiated a plethora of curious patrons to the algorave movement and its predilection for abstracting beats via textual code composed with a computer, Armitage and Knotts bring their program-driven live performance – think glitchy experimentation, lo-fi computer sounds and colourfully projected sound-making code – to the festival.
Algobabez are members of Music Hackspace, a London platform and community experimenting with music, technology and sound, organizing regular DIY workshops, events and artistic residencies. Music Hackspace is a resident of Somerset House Studios.
Appears as part of Keychange :: Amplify