"The Invention of The Human" is designed as a response to the question "what makes us human?" The question has become increasingly important in this period of history, in that many of the answers aren't good enough. "Civilisation" could be one answer; but what good is civilization where there is so much misery within it? "Progress" could be another; but what good is progress without kindness and empathy to sustain it? Taking the thought of man's relationship with technology as a measure of humanity, I asked the computer "what do you think a human sounds like?", and with that I built this album of synthesised vocals, wondering if technological development can help explain what we are.
Record Of The Week W31 by Rogier Oostlander.
Very little is known about Dylan Henner, who appeared on the ambient scene last year with cassette- and digi-only releases for Brighton-based Phantom Limb and Belgian label Dauw and now makes his debut for the label formerly known as Whities.
Henner is not to keen on promoting himself on socials, instead choosing to communicate mostly through wondrously imaginative soundscapes and disarmingly poetic song titles (’The Sun Made the Sea Look Gold’, ’Marie Fell Asleep Witn Her Shoes On’, ’A Spring With The Remains Of A Fire’) and dito visual artwork.
Henner’s first full vinyl longplayer ’The Invention of the Human’ attempts to tackle a set of basic philosophical questions - what exactly makes us human? What good is civilisation when there’s so much misery attached to it? How will technology affect humanity in the long run? - through the mind and soundcard of a computer.
The result is a collection of superbly constructed human-not-human soundscapes built from synthesized vocals that are morphed into two pocket symphonies, with moods ranging from serene and cerebral to alienated and desolate, referencing classic Japanese ambient and more recent Visible Cloaks material.
‘The invention of the Human’ is a bleak vision of a future in which humans are only a small part of the equation. A new world that’s neither utopic or dystopic, with nature and technology in a strange yet perfect balance.