Last winter, Brooklyn-based musician/visual artist Tim Fite reached the conclusion that he had become far too dependent on his iPhone and other personal devices. Fearing he couldn’t exactly go cold turkey from, say, 24/7 access to Yelp, he instead opted to ween himself off by creating a “technology surrogate” he calls “The Phoney”. Pun definitely intended, it’s a “silicon based life-hack” that’s essentially the equivalent of a toy phone for adults.
With substantially more free time (and probably less hand strain from endlessly playing Angry Birds), Fite was able to begin work on the follow-up to 2012’s Aint Aint Aint. After launching a Kickstarter campaign in the spring, he spent the last several months recording with the use of (ironically enough) virtual instrumentation. On October 7th, Fite will unveil the final product of his sessions, a concept album he calls iBeenHACKED.
According to a press release, the 18-track album is “a music/art project satirizing and celebrating the highs and lows of digital culture, examining the ways technology and connectivity are hacking our daily lives, and altering the codes that we live by. Production wise, Fite embraced the limitlessness of virtual instrumentation to create complex yet melodic beats to compliment his poetic social commentary.”
The release adds, “In this digital age where content is king, Fite is a cunning court jester, artfully hacking the hand that ‘feeds’ him. If you have ever questioned your relationship with technology, look to iBeenHACKED.”
As our first taste of the album, Fite has unveiled the title track, which was previously only available to those who donated to the album’s Kickstarter. Given the nature of the album, Fite peppers the track with sampled audio clips, recreating the sense of information bombardment that’s now commonplace in the digital age. Underneath all that noise and chaos is a solid, infectious beat of drums and oddball effects paired with profound insight into our collective addiction with technology. (My favorite line is, “I’d rather be a clone than be alone.”)
A lot of us would never dare put our phones down, but Fite has found something truly raw and organic during his electronic detox. Listen in below.
Fite has also shared a teaser trailer for the album. The bizarre, infomercial-esque clip offers viewers “12 steps to make their very own version of iBeenHACKED.” Watch it below.