'Utility' is a playful but non-ironic musical approach to a whole spectrum of utilitarian and transhumanist ideas: from models for quantifying pleasure and 'Gradients of Bliss' to abolishing suffering for sentient beings (not just people) through the ethical use of drugs and nanotechnology. Over nine tracks, Barker's vision ebbs and flows through waves of deeply psychedelic musical vignettes; free-floating and futuristic melodies and rhythms as targeted brain stimulation.
The sound draws heavily on modular synthesis, as well as self-built mechanical instruments and plate reverbs to create atmospheres that are at once alien and emotionally recognizable, functional and utopian. 'Utility' is by no means a concept album. Instead, it is an honest take on music as both pleasuremaximizer and consciousness-expander.
1. Paradise Engineering
3. Experience Machines
4. Gradients Of Bliss
5. Hedonic Treadmill
6. Models Of Wellbeing
9. Die-Hards Of The Darwinian Order