My essay on Auto-Tune published in Frieze magazine earlier this year concluded with:

“Auto-Tune is a contemporary strategy for intimacy with the digital. As such, it becomes quite humanizing. Auto-Tune operates as a duet between the electronics and the personal. A reconciliation with technology. This development was sparked by a sexagenarian pop star and spread like wildfire across genre, language, and geography. We live in a world saturated by electronics and we’re finding ways to make that situation sing. T-Pain and the software manufacturer, Antares, are currently at work on bringing Auto-Tune to your mobile phone. The intimacy – or is that an invasion? – deepens.”

Well, the “I am T-Pain’ iPhone app has arrived! I love the idea of artists collaborating on strange new iPhone apps. For $3 one can now go cyborg to the backing beats of T-Pain hits… I wonder how much longer before a mainstream/viral hit is produced entirely on a cellphone – from beats to vocal recordings.

Perhaps another R&B singer will attempt to replicate Tallahassee Pain’s unprecedented success by embracing a different form of digital audio voice processing — in a left-field turn, The Dream starts putting his choruses through granular synthesis algorhythms [this involves cutting sounds into tiny slivers, and twisting those slivers about with lots of math] – ushering in a new era of Hot 97 radio hits defined by bristling tone clouds, diva voices gone spectral…

Subwoofer sales die down, replaced by exorbitant ‘tweeter battles’ where high-end definition replaces low-end whoomp and treble starts signifying blackness/corporeality instead of bass.

Beyonce sparks scandal by demanding her full cameo rate while only delivering atonal washes of sound containing, allegedly, her voice split into 144,000 forty millisecond slices each with distinct pitch, speed, and phase parameters. Disgusted, her ‘husband’ comes out the closet (as a Republican or bisexual, the future remains unclear) and continues making music by sampling old vinyl records and rapping into expensive microphones in expensive studios wearing tailored suits.

Britney Spears partners with AudioMulch (a bit too late, the initial hype has died down) and Fennesz moves to Los Angeles to work on his tan while co-producing Salt N Pepa’s comeback album – which turns out to be largely indistinguishable from Endless Summer. Acid makes a resurgence (apparently granular delays synergize indescribably well with the retro psychedelic), Nicolas Bourriaud writes a book – in Ebonics! – called ‘Durational Aesthetix’, and Lil B enrolls at Mills College.

Until these things come to pass, we have T-Pain + Antares teaming up to tune you electric. After 45 seconds of promo talk, the video becomes kinda awesome:


  1. Amusing, but way off. This effect will have it’s brief mainstream life, nd then die, replaced by the next thing.

  2. You all worship at the altar of CHER. This post is case in point for critical theory gone awry.

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