Most generally, I am interested in the largest scale destiny of electronic music. Halocyan is formed around a straightforward thesis. This thesis is a wholesale overhaul of our basic understanding of electronic music.
In classical antiquity, episteme (science, absolute truth) was understood to be distinct from techne (human made craft). Episteme is “knowledge that” or “knowledge what” whereas techne is “know how.” We are seeing the computerization of all human experience, i.e. everything. This computerization of everything makes technology become a background assumption. For example, in the recent Lego Movie, audiences disturbingly accept and even celebrate the idea that we as humans are computerized automata. Similarly, Daft Punk performed at the 2014 Grammy Awards by pretending to be robots who controlled some of the world’s greatest musicians from behind a control panel. The idea of robots and computers controlling humans did not seem to alarm or even register with an audience of the music industry’s top professionals.
The result of the computerization of everything and technology becoming a background assumption is a mainstream view that technology and episteme are the same; that technology is reality. However, technology is actually a merger of techne and episteme, as the etymology of the word itself suggests. The thesis that both techne and episteme still exist is central to Halocyan as a label and the release of Universal Quantifier.
Techno music’s founding gestures (primarily from Kraftwerk and Kraftwerk’s derivatives such as Detroit techno) tacitly represented this computerization of everything and the world-view that technology is episteme as its main theme. This main theme can be detected in such works as The Man-Machine, Computer World, Computer Love, Numbers etc. Therefore, “techno music” has had one and only one meaning historically: that of the computerization of everything and the elimination of the dichotomy between episteme and techne; that technology is episteme.
Halocyan rejects the assumption that technology is episteme and believes in a new, accurate understanding of techno music where the focus is on techne. Even the etymological basis of the word “techno”—the name used for this genre of music—is grounded in the word techne and techne is the antithesis of the word episteme. Thus, Halocyan believes that techno is appropriately, if unexpectedly, named with a word that emphasizes the techne of techno music.
When techno music focuses purely on techne, the result highlights the techne aspect of technology—which has been forgotten in today’s mainstream culture. Halocyan represents the first scene in the history of techno music to represent this understanding of techno music.
The computerization of everything and the mainstream view that technology is episteme has made humans fail to see that techno music is techne and therefore points to anti-reality. Techno music reminds the human individual that the computer and computation itself is a human invention, and in a related sense, that existence itself is a human invention. The name “techno” is therefore quite appropriate. The actual sound of techno music has always been a disruptive, uncanny jolt; an artificial expression of pure technique. It is the technique of technique, made explicitly distinct from any content it might express or represent. Halocyan maintains that techno music is to be grounded in techne, not episteme.
If the true meaning of the computerization of everything is realism, the true meaning of techno is anti-realism. The word for this anti-realism is originary technicity. Universal Quantifier is the first music release to fully embody originary technicity, and therefore is the most important release of 2014.
The theory of universal quantification makes clear the idea that existence is actually algorithmic in the mathematical sense. For the most important release of 2014, Halocyan chose the antithetical name Universal Quantifier to indicate what techno is not and to bring attention to the dichotomy of techne and episteme. Techno is not quantification theory or mathematical logic (i.e. episteme); techno is techne. The ideas embodied in Universal Quantifier are what Halocyan is aesthetically committed to. It is as though there have been two paths for techno, and we at Halocyan are the only ones interested in following the other path, i.e. the path of techne. Not only is it a road less traveled, it isn’t traveled at all until now.
Universal Quantifier demonstrates that “techne” still exists. Humans have forgotten that techne is still one-half of technology because of the merger of techne and episteme. We need to maintain our relationship with techne, which can be done through creating, confronting, and experiencing pure techno music—not through inventing a new type of music. We need to shift our understanding of what techno music means and has meant historically. Halocyan represents that shift and the originary technicity of the human; a reminder of techne itself. By being committed to pure techno unlike any other scene out there; Halocyan is reminding us of the importance of originary technicity at this point in our human history so that we don’t fall into the old metaphysical habits, which are holding music and culture back. An understanding of originary technicity is the only way humanity can imagine a future for itself outside of metaphysics.
What does the future hold for the label?
We are preparing 2015 to be an exciting and active year of new releases. We have forthcoming music by Hackman, KiNK, Dosem, G-Man, Dave Angel, Extrawelt, Joey Beltram, The Third Man, Juan Atkins, Artifact, Gunnar Haslam, Timo Maas, H-SIK, Chrissy Murderbot, Alex Burkat, Grenier, Pink Skull, and hopefully even Ancient Methods. There is also a larger scope project underway by the singularly influential Mark Gage (aka Vapourspace, Cusp, Mimi + Boyd), which will cover several records and styles.
Halocyan’s biggest and most exciting upcoming project is a unique collaboration with DJ Pierre. In recent years, EDM has established dance as an impressively lucrative part of the entertainment business. The artists responsible for this success are largely ahistorical, young producers from a new generation with few ties to the rich history and foundations of dance. However, these producers quite commonly use a sound from the storied Roland TB-303, known since the 1980s as “Acid,” and we hear this sound in songs by diverse artists from Zedd to LMFAO.
Contemporary dance fans have all heard Acid, they are all familiar with it, but if we ask them, “What is Acid? Who is Acid? What is that sound called Acid?” How many of them have the answer? Halocyan’s collaboration with DJ Pierre will demonstrate that there is only one answer, and it is DJ Pierre. The concept for this Halocyan-DJ Pierre project has an obviously deep meaning, which correlates well with Halocyan’s focus on history, internationality, and originary technicity. Both DJ Pierre and our team at Halocyan are excited to overhaul today’s landscape of major-league dance through this collaboration.
The following playlist was by Dimitri Fergadis especially for Impose. These tracks from Halocyan’s recent catalog represent several modes of techne not contained on the Universal Qualifier compilation.