- GenresElectronic · Experimental · Noise
In 1997, Robotic Storm Cloud, aka Steve Libbey, had relocated from Cincinnati to Atlanta to follow his girlfriend. After years of playing in bands, he believed he was ready for the domestic life. But the need to make noise was strong within him, and so, recalling the fun he’d had creating the sample-based pieces on Martian Electric’s Sky-Fi, he built an audio PC.
Freed from the pressure of pleasing an audience, Libbey experimented with severe sound deconstruction and blunt rhythms. When asked, he described the work as “deliberately self-indulgent.” Yet what he had composed was a bold step in the celebration of sound for sound’s sake, and an exploration of the musical world that can be evoked with the sounds of the real world. Nearly everything on the subsequent recordings began life as a sample before being subjected to manipulation in sound editing programs. Folks have compared the result to Kraftwerk, Eno/Byrne Life in the Bush of Ghosts era, Negativland, and other experimentalists.
The first two albums, Realizations of Imaginary Sounds and Ambush on All Sides, originate from that initial period of productivity. There’s a progression from willful avoidance of advanced technology, a sort of digital ludditism, to the cautious embrace of it. Realizations is loud and wild; Ambush is (despite the name) meditative and reserved. Both stand on their own as representations of his approach.
Currently, Robotic Storm Cloud is incorporating the latest technological, digital advances into his aesthetic, while still imposing limitations that encourage creative divergence. In other words, using the best tools in the worst possible way.