Ambient, Sound recordist, Experimental
AD93, DAUW, Phantom Limb
Very little is known about Dylan Henner, who appeared on the experimental-ambient scene with his first full longplayer The Invention of the Human, released on AD93 in 2020 and receiving a much-coveted place on BBC 6Music’s Albums Of The Year list.
Henner is not to keen on promoting himself on socials, instead choosing to communicate mostly through wondrously imaginative soundscapes and disarmingly poetic song titles (’The Sun Made the Sea Look Gold’, ’Children Were Climbing The Old Tree in the Park’, ’A Spring With The Remains Of A Fire’) and ditto visual artwork.
The Invention of the Human attempts to tackle a set of basic philosophical questions - what exactly makes us human? What good is civilisation when there’s so much misery attached to it? How will technology affect humanity in the long run? - through the mind and soundcard of a computer.
The result is a collection of superbly constructed human-not-human soundscapes built from synthesized vocals that are morphed into two pocket symphonies, with moods ranging from serene and cerebral to alienated and desolate, referencing ambient and experimental music, sound design and field recordings. The invention of the Human is a bleak vision of a future in which humans are only a small part of the equation. A new world that’s neither utopic or dystopic, with nature and technology in a strange yet perfect balance.
2022 will see the release of a brand new full length on AD93 titled You Always Will Be. The album, a single 40-minute piece, tells the story of a single life from birth to death. Dylan writes “I've been thinking about the passage of life a lot recently as I lost all four of my grandparents but celebrated the birth of my daughter all within a short period of time. The brevity and preciousness of being really hit me."
Dylan Henner has also covered Terry Riley and Su Tissue and released a loveletter to a train journey through rural Pennsylvania in late 2021 EP Amtracks. He has released cassette and digital records for Brighton-based Phantom Limb, Belgian label Dauw and AD93’s tape-only imprint Syon.
''British musician Dylan Henner, recently released on AD93, delivers one smooth hour of new-age, fourth world and choral ambient as a musical temple where to seek refuge to during these troubled times'' - Lyl Radio
''Dylan Henner’s The Invention of the Human feels like mallsoft of a deserted future. It is a suite of synthesis, which sings in garbled voices to empty rooms. Its new-agey choral minimalism can best be described as glacial. This owes not only to a measured pace, but a powerful tension as chords slide over each other in creaking and reluctant transition. There is such stillness to this album that its each greedy moment seeks to hold you forever'' - No Wave UK