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Matthew Dear's New Track Is Made From the Sounds of GE Machines

Listen to "Drop Science," a track crafted entirely from samples of machines recorded at GE's Global Research Center.
Image: GE

There was a time where Matthew Dear the pop songwriter was better known by the name Audion. As Dear's production alias, or at least the primary one, Audion blanketed the mid-'00s with perfectly fucked, jagged minimal techno tracks that managed to be both properly skeletal and completely crushing.

"Drop Science," a track Dear crafted entirely from samples of machines recorded at GE's Global Research Center, is maybe a closer fit within that catalog than the pop Dear has cultivated for the past several years under his own name. Audion's whole presence was of machines or broken machines or machines in the process of breaking, crumbling as black dust onto the dance floors of sinister places.


Now those machines are very literal, though GE would probably prefer they be considered unbroken for the purposes of (presumed) promotion. The collaboration between the producer and GE is centered around the latter's acoustics engineering department, a crew of professional listeners that go around to GE's different research labs and just listen to machines.

This is a real thing: detecting problems acoustically before those problems truly manifest either visually or just in the form of a machine that doesn't work anymore. "An acoustic signature from a piece of equipment is like a fingerprint from a human. No two sounds are the same," explains GE's Fabian Dawson on the "Drop Science" project page.

Dear collected nearly 1,000 of those sounds for the track, from the noise of a jet engine to an MRI scanner to fiber optic detection equipment. He's pretty clearly doing some GE selling here, but it probably beats selling a track to background some crappy commercial.