Olan Monk - Auto Life
Format: Digital (EP)
Catalogue Number: CANVAS011
Release Date: 1st October 2021
Watch the video for 'Fameless': youtu.be/-xndTe8uWrc
‘A farewell to idolatry, where culture is absorbed into nature, like a body back into the fertile soil. Written as a 27 club survivor, lamenting the young dead, no longer young and celebrating the spectral presence of iconised peers. Reflexive and self-aware of the problem of over-identifying with the fictional performance of the solo act in various guises or archetypes: the rockstar or trapstar. Auto Life is a practical attempt at a weird re-hybridisation of otherwise seemingly divergent strands of popular music, conflating stylisations usually segregated by genre.
Auto Life was written as a collection of songs for eventual live performance. Recording music is absurd—an act in which you initially perform to no-one. The inclusion of a sample of crowd noise in ‘Fameless’ is the music studio equivalent of a laugh track being added to the soundtrack of a sitcom—unable to give up on disappearing horizons completely and imagining another context for performance in which an actual audience beyond the performer is present.
Autotune Punk—as a music of antagonism that resists from within, bending the lanes of a machine that flattens out the vocal performance to a given scale. I can still express feeling—even angst—but the machine doesn’t care. Refusing its own funeral, emulating the dead—it’s a Rock simulacrum. A renewably performed myth. I broke the spell. I just heard it as it was. The sacred framing of presence makes the pop idol always-already-dead by turning them into a symbol and an image—undead, un-ageing and endlessly reproducible within a commercialist visual culture.
The music which I would grow up listening to would later become a tool towards first facing, maybe later dismantling—or at least bending—the structures in which music was still being written, performed and recorded into existence. My emulation of and interest in pop—and popular—music is not in irony. I love this music—yet I question the context and conditions through which it has come to exist and continues to change shape. Opening up the horizon of pop to a new kind of strangeness, where the familiarity of the pop song disappears into blissful distortions and mixed signifiers towards a world in-between, otherwise unknown’.
— Olan Monk
released October 1, 2021
Written, performed and recorded by Olan Monk
‘Bruised Fruit’ features an instrumental recording by Jam City, additional production and vocals written and performed by Elvin Brandhi
‘Burnout’ features an instrumental recording by Jam City
Tracks 01–07 mastered by Ali Najafi
Tracks 08 and 09 mastered by Jam City
Artwork by Ewa Awe