By Utility, with Tom Smith
Released in 2019 through Melbourne label SUMAC, Nexus Destiny (2019) is a collection of 60 arpeggios made entirely with software synthesisers. Utility have used only unaltered presets and expansion packs from the Nexus, Massive and Xpand! instruments commonly used in contemporary dance and trap production. Each arpeggio has undergone minimal editing and/or post-production, and is designed to highlight the spectral and timbral qualities of the preset from which it takes its title.
The collection exists simultaneously as a sequence of short etudes for listening, and as a library of materials for reuse by other composers, producers and DJs. In its dual function as composition and technical demonstration, Nexus Destiny occupies a musical uncanny valley in
which human emotion is captured and stored for the purposes of automation and reproduction. Nexus Destiny is a digital still life that re-performs the ‘preset’ nature of ‘in the box’ authorship, while also celebrating the preternatural, hi-definition aesthetics immanent to commercial sound design tools.