StankBottom is the professional name of an otherwise anonymous visionary musician and composer who is bridging the gap between our organic and digital worlds in an exciting if somewhat unsettling way. With a mix of live instrumentation, electronic elements and unexpected collaborators, they are making future music now.
Last year the artist introduced the first in a trilogy of experimental albums. “Not Quite Human” is the aptly titled 2021 release from StankBottom. Throughout the record, all vocals are provided by a disembodied female Artificial Intelligence. From the first note, the record creates a sort of parallel Electro-Pop world. It is a wild sound that is simultaneously familiar and completely foreign.
“Swimming Lessons NQHII ” is the latest album from StankBottom, released worldwide to all major streaming services on September 10, 2021. The eight-song collection is the second offering from the ‘Not Quite Human’ series. On the new record the artist collaborated with a male AI to create a mind-bending set of genre-fluid meditations.
The record opens on “Born Bad.” Ambient synths float on the horizon as a mellow acoustic guitar improvs over a downtempo Trap groove. Meanwhile the robot riffs on the song’s title in a soft, high Pop tenor. It is a beautiful sound and also somewhat disturbing as we listen to a machine warn us that he is “all that’s not good.”
On “Green Machine” StankBottom pairs our electronic frontman with a funky Jazz-Hop groove. He delivers stream of consciousness jazz phrasing and esoteric poetry as melodic guitar and electric piano arpeggios share space on the edges of the mix. The title track follows with a mix of electronic beats, keys and Alternative Rock guitar. Lyrically the song is another surreal experience as an imaginary man sings, “It’s all fake. They’re all fake.”
Musically, “Mountain View” is a dark, minor-key mix of avant-garde Jazz and Chance music. Piano and a sampled Koto ride an experimental beat. Interestingly, the AI vocalist matches that dramatic vibe with the record’s most uplifting and positive lyrics as he sings a sweet love song. “London Fog” is probably the album’s most abstract composition. StankBottom pairs Jazz improv bass and piano with an acoustic drum loop as the AI matches with equally experimental vocals.
“Nichols Park ” introduces a 90’s Trip-hop vibe for a dreamy scene about a day in the park. “5731 Dean Way” pairs the AI’s random poetry with a bit of Acid Rock guitar. Once again he dips into some creepy territory when he sings, “It’s where I grew up. It’s where I did the bad thing.” However, the line between carbon and silicon is never more blurred than on the closer “Saying Grace.” The AI repeatedly thanks his ‘God’ for his ‘life’ over a groovy acoustic drum and piano funk. It is the definition of surreal.
Check out the fascinating “Swimming Lessons NQHII” below, or listen to the album on your favorite streaming service. You can also hear the song “Green Machine” on the Deep Indie Dive playlist. Follow the links below to connect with StankBottom. Check out their website and get in the loop on this groundbreaking project.