Same Waves – Algorithm of Desire

Same Waves is Lindsay Anderson and John Hughes. Hughes first crossed paths with Anderson in 2002 when she recorded vocals for Telefon Tel Aviv’s single, “Sound in a Dark Room”, which would appear on Hughes’ Hefty Records imprint. Hefty went on to release work from Anderson’s group L’Altra, as well as her vocal contributions for Telefon Tel Aviv and Hughes’ own studio projects. The two reconnected over a cup of coffee 3 years ago, eager to document a new period in their musical lives through a collaboration from the ground up. Anderson, a songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist and Hughes, a producer and electronic musician, create a beautiful and strange hybrid of synthesized and organic elements on Algorithm of Desire. The album, equal parts pristine and weathered, lyrically and sonically explores themes of human connection, algorithmic technology, desire and artistic creation, all within the confines of a surrealist landscape. The album was recorded outside of Chicago at HFT Studio and includes several players from the Chicago jazz and improvisational scene.

In addition to their work as Same Waves, Anderson and Hughes, record under the name Hibernis for the Welsh ambient label Serein. Their full-length Middle of the Meds, due out October 19th, is described as “a spiritual, eyes-closed trip invoked by modular synths and haunted vocals”. The album was recorded simultaneously with Algorithm of Desire and since Hibernis’ sound fabric was of a more minimal and improvisational nature, it was used a meditative tool to begin their Same Waves recording sessions. This exercise paved the way for a loser, more organic sound and songwriting process for the duo. Realizing they were headed in a new direction, they let go of much of the earlier Same Waves material to make room for newer ideas and expression. Reshaping and re-contextualizing some of the previous songs as well as writing new material, the two discovered their process and their sound was fully formed.

Algorithm of Desire is both a testimonial as well as an expression of shared human experiences. Lyrically the songs question the truth behind desire, especially in the age of technology when our wants and needs are algorithmically determined. “Well, after all, what if someday they really do discover the formula for all our desires and whims…that is, the genuine mathematical formula–why, then all at once man might stop desiring, yes, indeed, he probably would. And that’s not all: he would immediately be transformed from a person into an organ stop or something of that sort; because what is man without desire, without will, and without wishes if not a stop in an organ pipe?” (Fyodor Dostoevsky, “Notes from Underground”) These songs place listeners in alternate realities asking them to contemplate the various dimensions of connection while diverting them from a reality where art has lost value and consumerism and technology drive preference.

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