Published May 15, 2015Holly Herndon's second full-length continues her exploration of precipitous contrasts and complex electronic production. The gut-wrenching dynamics and pinpoint accuracy of her music stand out immediately, but where previously she has used these tools with deft restraint, Platform finds her letting it flow unabated. Herndon's music continues to push against the dichotomies of human and machine, intimacy and technology.
Herndon crafts organic bodily noise into tough and wiry electronic music. The snipped vocals coalesce into startlingly affecting simulations of words and lyrics, and the resulting pockets of euphoria, best exhibited on "Chorus," add surprising emotional heft. These are voices singing from the heart, even if what they're saying isn't easily discernable. It's a serious interrogation of the limits of what can be seen as lyrical, and it's simultaneously sonically challenging, emotionally engaging and conceptually rigorous.
Platform veers away from the restrained subtlety of Movement, toward striking honesty, and yet it's never fully opaque. Rather, it's always drifting, skilfully, from challenging noise to fragmented affection in the most beguiling way possible. (4AD)