Former Models

Former Models ★★★★

"The simplest way to describe this — a fantastical biography of Milli Vanilli’s Robert Pilatus, i.e. 'the one who killed himself' — eliminates its argumentative byways and additional layers. A prologue appropriates consumer-grade video of a plastics factory, its tonalities an ambient hum slowly clarified and reduced into a pure F-major chord, transforming the industrial apparatus into a producer of music. (Another interspersed thread buttressing that argument comes in thoughts from Andy Hildebrand, inventor of the seismic-wave detector that inadvertently birthed AutoTune. Pop music is the ghost in a machine that autonomously evolved, with humans wrestling the gears to create self-expression within automated norms.) 'This is where I was born,' croaks one of those unnerving auto-read computer voices — Pilatus speaking, reimagined as a decorporealized manufactured entity eternally living on. Vocal counterpoint is introduced with the voice of technology: 'white, female, urban,' reassuringly cool and observing itself to be vaguely sexual."

Really liked this.