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"My motivation is simple.

To be additive. I wish in some small way to bend the collective human narrative towards the positive.

To inspire untold (even to me) small leaps of faith that germinate and grow in people I will never know.

To make music that makes people feel connected & less alone. That inspires people to face life and even if they fail to do so with dignity."
BT

BT is the stage name of Brian Transeau, a prominent electronic musician. His signature style includes a lot of post-processing effects, oftentimes making you think that your MP 3 player has crashed horribly or become possessed by something quite unpleasant. Despite this, his music is still precisely rhythmical, insanely catchy, and omnipresent.

His albums have run the gamut from straight progressive trance, to vocal-heavy dance, to phenomenally stirring ambient music. As a producer, he's collaborated with many other artists (Mike Doughty, Tori Amos, Britney Spears, and Stewart Copeland to name a few) and remixed songs by... pretty much anyone he hasn't collaborated with (Madonna, The Doors, Diana Ross).

His 2010 album These Hopeful Machines was nominated for a Grammy Award in the "Best Dance/Electronica" category, losing to La Roux's self-titled album.


Discography

Studio Albums

  • Ima (1995)
  • ESCM (1997)
  • Movement in Still Life (1999)
  • Emotional Technology (2003)
  • This Binary Universe (2006)
  • These Hopeful Machines (2010)
  • Morceau Subrosa (2012)
  • If the Stars Are Eternal, So Are You and I (2012)

EP's

  • Turn Me On (1999)
  • Extended Movement (2000)
  • The Technology EP (2004)
  • Human Technology EP (2005)

Compilations

  • R&R: Rare & Remixed (2001)
  • Still Life in Motion (2001)
  • 10 Years in the Life (2002)
  • These Humble Machines (2011); Radio-edits of These Hopeful Machines on a single disc.
  • These Re-Imagined Machines (2011); A 2-disc set containing many assorted remixes of tracks from These Hopeful Machines. A 4-disc set containing an obscene amount of goodies[1] was released some time later.
  • Laptop Symphony (2012); A 2-disc set containing various new remixes, in the spirit of most of his live performances. "Flaming June" from ESCM makes its triumphant return as the final track on the second disc.

Sample CD's

  • Breakz from the Nu Skool (2002)
  • Twisted Textures (2002)
  • 300 Years Later (with Nick Phoenix) (2005)

Music appearances

  • The Fast and the Furious (Complete score)
  • Stealth (Complete score, and collaborated with David Bowie)
  • Cars: Tokyo Mater (Complete score)
  • Fre Quency and Amplitude (Contributed tracks to each)
  • Alpha Protocol (complete score)
  • Need For Speed: Underground (Licensed his song "Kimosabe")

Tropes used in BT's music:

  • Boastful Rap: On "Knowledge of Self", "Madskillz-Mic Chekka", and "Kimosabe", with the caveat that the vocalist isn't BT.
  • Epic Rocking: BT's debut album Ima has "Sasha's Voyage of Ima", a 42-minute medley of the album's songs mixed by well-known British DJ Sasha. Most of the standalone songs are also quite long, for example the two-part "Loving You More" is a total of 13 minutes; "Blue Skies", another two-parter, is 17 minutes; and "Divinity" is 11 minutes. They don't call it "epic house" for nothing.
    • Sasha, who had a penchant for long songs back in the day, also did a 12-minute remix of "Embracing the Sunshine", and a 13-minute mix of "Remember".
    • The majority of songs on ESCM were also over 8 minutes in length, culminating with the awesome 11-minute "Content".
      • "Content" proper is actually around 8 minutes in length; following nearly two minutes of silence, there is a short hidden track starting at 9:51. It is a small orchestral version of "Flaming June".
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: The album version of "Loving You More" has a 9-minute lead in track (the "Garden of Ima" dub mix), which segues into the "Final Spiritual Journey" mix (the radio edit).
  • Everything Is an Instrument: Best exemplified on This Binary Universe, where the sounds of his daughter's infant giggles get used to great effect.
    • One press release for This Binary Universe mentioned that BT had used circuit bending (re-wiring instruments, or in this case, even household appliances and Furbys) to create unique sounds.
    • The credits for the song "Le nocturne de Lumière" list "who knows what else" after all of the conventional (and non-conventional) instruments, and all of the software BT wrote himself.
  • Loudness War: These Hopeful Machines has gotten a bit of flack for this.
  • New Sound Album: BT has changed sounds several times. His first album Ima was deep/progressive house, then he changed to drum&bass/trance/ambient/trip-hop for ESCM and Movement in Still Life, then to dark techno on the Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas soundtrack, then Emotional Technology was pop-trance, electro, and rock ballads. This Binary Universe was a complete Genre Shift to experimental ambient and new age material (influenced by Creator Breakdown due to his equipment being stolen and his daughter's kidnapping), then These Hopeful Machines ventured back down the Emotional Technology route, as well as incorporating elements of IDM and glitch-hop.
  • Non-Appearing Title: :"Superfabulous", "Somnambulist"("somnambulating" appears, but not "somnambulist"), "Paris"(although "Parisians" appears), and "The Last Moment of Clarity" from Emotional Technology; "Movement in Still Life" and "Love on Haight Street" from Movement in Still Life; and "Firewater", "Lullaby for Gaia", and "Solar Plexus" from ESCM.
  • Single-Stanza Song / Looped Lyrics - "Smartbomb" features a line taken from the next track ("Love on Haight Street": "Back on the set and covering all bets") looping over and over with a short chorus carrying the title.
    • "Nectar" from ESCM is a perfect example; beginning at 1:40, until the very end, the lyrics are just one line:

  "And it ebbs and goes, ebbs and goes, where love can only flow."

  • Word Salad Lyrics: "Never Gonna Come Back Down", his collaboration with Mike Doughty, is naturally full of this. Adding to the weirdness, Doughty also recites from the Book Of Revelations, gives shout outs to an imaginary audience, and asks for DJ Rap's phone number in gratuitous Spanish. BT actually had him do a few takes of improvised rambling and pasted together the best bits of them between verses.

Notes

  1. 3 CD's containing 24 remixes, 1 DVD of all 59 remixes and 3 music videos, a 2.32-page, 12” hard bound book, a 3.12” x 72” poster and a BT logo sticker, as well as being personally autographed and serial-numbered by BT... whew!
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