Photography/Word by Melissa Warshavsky
What do you get when you cross AI (artificial intelligence) with music? – In short, Karma Fields. Much about this artist is a mystery, or at least it was, until I checked out “The Hex” this weekend.
Here’s what I know: This emerging artist-to-watch calls his mega-label (Monstercat) home, along with other named artists like Krewella and Vicetone.. if you’re not already enticed you’ve been living under a rock the last 5 years.
I use the term “artist” loosely, as most of the KF image is built on a foundation of anonymity – which I bridged whilst hanging with management and co during their projection under the Manhattan Bridge, and again, this past Saturday, backstage at Webster Hall.
Who is this man, woman, or group you ask? Well, our friendly phantom of the electronic “Opera” certainly has no reason to hide, but I won’t spill any brand secrets across the interweb. Not to mention, it doesn’t matter. Part of what makes KF special is the fact that the music sells itself, via the unique sound and The Hex, live audio-visual AI experience. Fans tune in to hear hit tracks like “Build the Cities” and “No Sleep”, paired with randomized, computer-generated graphics, swirling in enticing black and white projections, on all sides of a 3D hexagonal screen. Naturally, there’s been some speculation regarding the precise mastermind behind KF, but the masses are still tuning in, even without a specific face(s) to match with the KF name.
Having attended the live performance at Webster Hall on 4/29, I understand the attraction. The KF sound is an interesting infusion of numerous genres, artfully stitched together on EDM tracks. The visuals are showcased on 20’ wide 18’ deep x 11’ projection mapping screens, and because The Hex takes on a 3D structure, the show can be seen from 360 degrees.
While walking around the venue, I turned my ear to the crowd. Concert attendees were into it – as was I. Most shows don’t appeal to your eyes and ears simultaneously – this show does both. The tremendous structure kept the audience captivated for the duration of the show, and its presence in the center of the room demanded everyone’s full attention. Essentially, I was watching a computer, rather than a music group singing on stage. It didn’t even matter. The cool thing is that the computer, or AI, is telling a story within the graphics. They’re as dynamic as the sets they reflect, and the images mirror what’s happening on each track.
KF is pioneering the way musicians get their gear to and fro, as The Hex can be packed up and flown anywhere in the world. This is sure to lead to tons of new shows in the future, and we’re pretty pumped to see where they wind up next. A new album is on the horizon, and fans can expect more Intel to be shared in conjunction, regarding the KF story.
Words and Photos by: Melissa Warshavsky