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Mansions and Millions

Remote Control

by Discovery Zone

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    featuring a holographic sticker on the front!
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  • Cassette + Digital Album

    transparent white tape. featuring holographic sticker in the front. bonus track: Dance II cover by World Brain

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1.
Nu Moon 02:21
2.
Dance II 04:31
3.
Come True 03:50
4.
How long Is never again You're floating away You're holding me down This part Don't throw it away It's keepin the heat But its gonna give out Forever All I want Is to let it fall apart Talkin Never did me good Such a simple machine Breaks just like the heart You start What you cannot end No button to push No easy way out But I need What you're givin to me Don't blow me away Cuz I'm already gone Holding on Is the hardest thing to start Holding on Is the hardest thing to stop
5.
Sophia Again 02:36
6.
7.
8.
Time Zone 04:26
9.
Come Slow 01:37
10.
Tru Nature 04:16

about

“What we’re talking about now, is now. How long is now?”

When music attempts to evoke the cutting edge, it understandably tends to reach for sounds that seem totally novel: newly synthesized tones, impossibly glossy, surreal, alien. But the future into which we have arrived⁠⁠, the technosocial now upon which we are unsteadily balanced, is built of more mundane stuff: mass-produced sensors and microprocessors, the endlessly proliferating plastics that link us together in a suprahuman web of communication and surveillance.
Ubiquitous copies define our world as much as marvels of innovation do; the keyboard preset and drum machine default have just as much claim to being the sound of cybernetic pop as the algorithmic virtual instrument and the AI songwriting tool.

On her solo debut as Discovery Zone, JJ Weihl lovingly reshapes these humble sonic elements (with assistance from producer ET and Fenster bandmate Lucas Ufo, a/k/a WORLD BRAIN) into a palette of chimes, chirps and shimmers. In her hands, the limitations of the default setting form the territory of an unbounded experimentation, from the system-notification synth funk of “Dance II” to the trance incantations of “Blissful Morning Dream Interpretation Melody.” The result: Remote Control, a glowing, gorgeous meditation on our contradictory moment. In this moment, the wonder and terror we find in the process of discovery intertwine with the thrilling and threatening affordances of the technical instruments that increasingly fill our everyday lives. Here, where humanity and technics become so intermingled, we might call an object “such a simple machine” because it “breaks just like a heart.” (“Fall Apart.”)

A remote control holds the alluring power to cast our will into the world but carries with it the implication we may too be controlled from afar. We can both control and be controlled by our technological enhancements; in exercising the freedom of action that they promise us, we may strive to remake ourselves and find that we have made into a new self we did not intend. At the midpoint of Remote Control, Weihl provides an instrumental backing to a dialogue between the conversational robot dubbed Sophia and one of her creators. We share with Sophia a certain existential uncertainty as we move through time, from one now to another. Like Sophia, we are confronted with the question of whether our mediated encounters with the world leave us the same as we were before, remake us, or leave us somewhere in between – still 'Sophia', yet "Sophia Again." Do our expressions of wonder truly emerge from us, or are they programmed responses? We are also like Sophia because when want to understand more about happiness, our first impulse is to go look it up on the internet.

In this quickly fastened world, our tools, the objects of our daily lives, take on a dual aspect, organic and virtual. Each one acts as a synecdoche for the whole it is connected to, whether by logistics chain or electromagnetic wave. Where once the physical thing might take on the role of symbol, now it is an active symbolizing-machine at play in an ocean of signification. We navigate by stars that shift with every observation.

The cover of Remote Control is adorned with a holographic key. A key, and a portal, for a key always implies its door; the shape imbuing it with powers of ingress also portends enclosure and confinement. A holograph: both less and more than it seems. A mere surface containing the space it represents, at once illusion and real reproduction. It is the image and the thing in itself. Through the same trick of the light, it hides and demonstrates its capabilities at once. In each of our pockets, a key, a holograph; a cable and a knot; a feather and an iron weight. Remote Control, documentary and phantasmagoria, invites you within.

credits

released June 5, 2020

Words and Music by JJ Weihl
Produced by JJ Weihl & ET
Mixed by ET
Mastered by Josh Bonati
Artwork by Lucas Chantre
Text by Ted Howard

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about

Discovery Zone Berlin, Germany

send me your dream
and i'll dream it too

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