Following the release of their hard-hitting ‘KOMPROMAT’ album in late 2020 via Schubert Music’s recently founded Atlantic Curve label, Leeds-based trailblazers I LIKE TRAINS have shared a series of deepfake remixes of the album’s lead single ‘The Truth’.
Formed in 2004, I LIKE TRAINS is David Martin (vocals/guitar), Alistair Bowis (bass), Guy Bannister (guitar/synths), Simon Fogal (drums) and Ian Jarrold (guitar). For this experiment, the band reunited with long-time visual collaborator Michael Connolly to create a series of ‘deepfake remixes’ for ‘The Truth’.
“As our album KOMPROMAT deals with themes of information and how data misuse has led to this nightmarish present, it feels apt to see how artificial intelligence would rework our music. It seems to think we should be more melodic, throw in a few key changes and also consider using panpipes. The future of music is pretty nightmarish too it seems,” says David Martin.
“The audio in these three vignettes is an AI model trying to continue ‘The Truth’, generated using the OpenAI Jukebox. I revisited my auto edit system from ‘The Truth’ & ‘Dig In’ promo videos and poured on more nightmare fuel,” says Michael Connolly.
A resonant and timely rally against the powers-that-be, this ominous offering is the latest leg of the expository musical quest, following singles ‘Dig In’ and ‘A Steady Hand’, both of which also offer videos by Michael Connolly – congnizant reactions to a world that has changed beyond all recognition,
‘KOMPROMAT’ is the band’s fourth studio album and their first record since ‘The Shallows’ (2012), which focused on how the internet and smart technology is re-wiring the human mind and affecting our concentration spans. Now, with ‘KOMPROMAT’, it’s clear that this same technology, in the wrong hands, has taken an even more sinister turn. The game has changed – and I LIKE TRAINS have changed with it.
Earlier records, like the Godspeed-influenced ‘Progress Reform’ (2006) and ‘Elegies to Lessons Learnt’ (2007) took tales of tragic characters and events from history and applied them to the modern day, while ‘He Who Saw The Deep’ (2010) looked ahead to the climate change battle we are on the verge of losing.
While ‘KOMPROMAT’ sounds like none of those records, it contains their DNA. This record digs beneath populism’s rise, from the divide and conquer tactics that caused Brexit in the UK, to Trump’s ascent and the subsequent reign of lies and misinformation, to discover the grubby hands that have engineered it all.
After writing about low-key, insidious intrusions on our privacy, it was clear that, as global events unfolded, so did the importance of those themes: the perception of what is true and what isn’t true being challenged on a daily basis and how that confusion could be used to manipulate populations into thinking and voting in certain ways.
‘KOMPROMAT’ is available digitally with physical release on black vinyl LP, limited edition silver vinyl LP and CD. All formats can be ordered via Bandcamp.
Performed by I LIKE TRAINS
Music by Guy Bannister, Alistair Bowis, Simon Fogal, David Martin, Ian Jarrold
Lyrics by David Martin
Produced and mixed by Lee Smith and Jamie Lockhart at Greenmount Studios (Leeds)
Mastered by Tom Woodhead at Hippocratic Mastering
Album artwork by Michael Connolly
‘The Truth’ and ‘Dig In’ videos created by Michael Connolly
Photos by Ben Bentley
ALBUM TRACK LIST
1. A Steady Hand (YouTube)
2. Desire Is A Mess
3. Dig In (YouTube)
5. Patience Is A Virtue
6. Man of Conviction
7. New Geography
8. The Truth (YouTube)
9. Eyes to the Left (ft. Anika)
“I Like Trains are too smart for most, or too interested in realism and fate when so many are content to indulge inwashy escapism” – The Quietus
“This is grand civic music, less to be listened to and more to be visited like a museum or war memorial, and all the more interesting because of it” – The Guardian
“The group takes its listeners on a trip down the shadowy back alleys of British history. It’s all quite incredible, in every sense” – Pitchfork