Song You Need: Mumdance loses the reins on “Artificial Intelligence”
The English producer’s first new song in four years is as chaotic as it is fun.
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What initially introduced me to Mumdance were his grime instrumentals. His collaborations with Novelist — songs like “Take Time” and “1 Sec” — placed the punishing buzz and pings of Boy In Da Corner in a cavernous negative space that the foreboding atmosphere diffused into. The English producer’s continued to demonstrate his compositional clarity with projects like the 2015 Logos collaboration Different Circles, which brought his beats into the avant-garde, and the shoegaze-drone LP Bliss Signal, an album created with WIFE and released in 2019.
Throughout it all, Mumdance has always sounded in control. But on his new song, “Artificial Intelligence,” he feels more like a vessel for some kind of demonic pirate rave entity than its conductor. Motifs shift with bursts of static without warning, and synths scream out of rhythm with the happy hardcore kick, while a voice occasionally intones “Artificial Intelligence” in an uncanny, emotionless tone. The song is undeniably messy, but it works, and in such a bold fashion that it makes the title feel a bit tongue-in-cheek: arriving amid difficult conversations over the future of A.I. in art, Mumdance’s new song is an unspoken challenge for anyone to generate something this rich with just a few simple keywords.