Jasmine Guffond

TRACED : Sonic Pieces, Pattern 004, 2018 LP/DDL


In Traced, Guffond takes the textural and spatially sensitive ambient aesthetics of her previous LP, the acclaimed Yellow Bell, into palpably more paranoid and unnerving headspaces, using her filigree appreciation of electro-acoustic dynamics to convey that feeling with a subtlety which will surely resonate with anyone aware of digital surveillance technology’s transition from peripheral creep to a near ubiquitous presence'
- Boomkat, July 2017

News of a facial recognition database to “keep Australia safe” cast Jasmine Guffond’s record, Traced, into topicality because it presents an idea of how surveillance might sound. Guffond “sonified” the data generated by digital surveillance technology – facial recognition systems and global monitoring networks, specifically – by turning their algorithms into auditory shapes. Though I was transfixed well before the news was announced. Guffond weaves sound art, ambience, disembodied voice and some pretty bracing use of bass into compositions in constant flux. Sounds shoal, then scatter, like fish. No texture or mood is graspable for long.
- The Guardian

Our record of the week is by Jasmine Guffond. For "Traced" she examined "data generated from facial recognition systems and global monitoring networks and translates their algorithms into auditory shapes." Her sometimes droning, sometimes unsettling music uses vocal snippets and processed guitars and stays hard to categorize.
- Anost

Almost everything on ‘Traced’ is leaning towards an anxious incorporation of alien frequencies. ‘GPS dreaming’ in particular brings together machine sounds to create sonic landscapes of post modern alienation
- Music Won't Save You

1. Post Human
2. GPS Dreaming
3. Vision Strategy Coordinators
4. Swan Song
5. Say Yes
6. Boundless Informant


Traced develops a broad sound spectrum that goes far beyond her previous efforts. Influenced by digital surveillance technologies, Guffond examines data generated from facial recognition systems and global monitoring networks and translates their algorithms into auditory shapes. She draws sonic portraits that manage to capture what normally eludes human perception turning peripheral data into deeply engaging compositions.

These pieces unfold through shifting drone patterns interspersed with refined cut-up vocal snippets. Commanding bass pulses are counterposed against assemblies of beats and subtly measured guitar. Emotionally suspenseful, the album alternately rises to intesne highs that descend into soundscapes almost trancelike in affect. Collectively, the tracks on Traced attest to Guffond's profoundly sensitive approach to communicating contemporary ideas re-imagined as intricately inventive tonal possibilities.

Traced is a living recording that sounds like something we are yet to encounter. It suggests humanity at the spot it has maneuevered itself into: surrounded by machines, humans have simultaneously become the traceable components of a much wider network. The album's success lies in its ability to transform socio-technological observations into driving and compellingly expansive sonic structures.