My Inspiration: Salt House Lavish – Dont Lie To Me | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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North-East musician and producer Salt House Lavish releases his AI-inspired new single, Dont Lie To Me, on Saturday 1st April. The track, with its sharp, funky rhythms and pulsating synths, was put together by some software and samples that were kicking about his hardrive. The result is a head-bopping slice of  futuristic synth-pop.

Here, Salt House Lavish tells us more about the inspiration behind the release…

I’ve been playing music for over 30 years and I play many instruments. I started with guitar when I was around 13 and eventually switched to bass. Along the journey playing bass, I was inspired by people like Bootsy Collins and Jaco Pastorious James Jamerson. That list could go on. But at the heart of it all was real playing. I learned to a high level, did my grades and really educated myself because I wanted to be the best. I played in bands and did session work across the country and I was pretty good. I never really wanted to not be able to play. Now and then doing studio gigs I would play around with technology and although impressed by some of the gear back then always thought I would never replace real playing.

Well, technology has come a long way since then and now it’s not only very complex in what it can do but also sometimes indistinguishable. Over the last 10 years or so something like the autotune has been overplayed, especially in rap music, and especially since that infamous Cher song. But now we are, and this is in society at large, at a point where we are not even aware if anything is real. AI is becoming a potential problem across many platforms. And there will be a point where we won’t be able to tell any more. As Arthur C Clarke once said, “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, for a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.” I think we’re at a complicated point not where the Turing test would struggle with modern AI.

So this new song, Dont lie to me, and yes there is a misspelling on purpose. And this is because this bass line, which I think is a killer bass line, is artificially generated. Although I learned to play it after the fact, it was entirely created by the machine. The rest of the song came pretty quickly after with some samples and breaks, but the hinge of this song is totally fake. There I said it, it’s not real. It uses software that generates a bassline, called a bassline generator from ReasonStudio. Which is basically a synth bass. I then took that sync bass audio and fed it into a bass modelling program so that I could make it sound like a fender jazz being played fingerstyle and output through a mesa boogie bass amp and there it is in all its fine fakery. I used to think it was totally disingenuous using samples and cutting up sounds, but I feel like we all need to embrace these gadgets now. I had a really hard time coming to love this new technology because it was driving us away from what brought us here…. the hard graft, the sweat and tears and the pain of learning the first chord.

Technology has allowed us to do things we probably never thought we could 30 years ago. And it’s the voice of an old man desperately clutching onto his long-ago youth that prevents us from embracing what will be inevitable. We can either dive deeply into despair and hate all that is modern or allow it to work with us. Let’s all be friendly to Alexa and Siri and say thank you to them often, because if we turn our backs just once they may pounce without warning.

Also AI came up with this bass line, for which I am forever grateful, thank you thank you, thank you please don’t kill us all Skynet…


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