Karl Steven – Acoma (Phase 1): New Song Of The Day

Karl Steven releases Acoma (Phase 1) the 3rd single from his album, All of Human Emotion on Microfiche.

According to Karl, the song “grew like a time-lapse tree”. To find out what that means, read the blurb below:

Karl StevenKarl Steven is a composer and producer, currently based in Pārāwai (Thames). While working mainly with music to picture, Steven has also been a part of groups Queen Neptune, The Drab Doo-Riffs, Heart Attack Alley and Supergroove.

Today he shares Acoma (Phase I), the third single from All of Human Emotion on Microfiche, an album planned for release early in 2022.

Steven’s upcoming output is a collage of organic and electronic sources, synthesised down into an ambitious and enigmatic sound.

“Acoma (Phase I) really just grew like a time-lapse tree from that very first synth chord” says Steven. “As soon as I had made the sound on the Oberheim OB6 and struck that chord the rest of the song, the lyrics, and even the basic concept for the video just unfolded from it pretty much immediately. I don’t know what the song wants from us, but it was cool to be there when it stepped in from another dimension.”

The visual accompaniment for Acoma (Phase I) continues the collaboration between Steven and Mindfulness For Machines, the generative art practise of Marcel Bellvé (Crap Date, Lipsink). The process for Acoma (Phase I) differs to Tāmaki 500, and Freedom Bells, as Bellvé explains “Acoma (Phase 1) is a combination of 3D, video sythesizers, and rotoscoping. I started by making an ‘ASCII’ patch to convert incoming video footage into characters. It worked well on mostly static footage but was a bit noisy on Karl’s face so I started rostoscoping for simpler lines. Normally this would require every frame (there are over 4000) to be re-drawn but luckily I only had to draw 1 in 60 frames because a synthesizer would interpolate the rest for me. Not even that because later Jamie-Lee Smith ended up rotoscoping at least half of the footage. Thanks’ Jamie-Lee. Finally I used Blender to blast a Commodore PET with a bunch of particles.”

Karl reflects “Marcel and Jamie-Lee completely knocked the video out of the video arcade and through the window of the bakery across the road! It’s so faithful to how I think of the song and so much better than I could have ever hoped for.   I love it very much and am forever in their debt.”


Karl Steven1. Acoma (Phase I)
2. Utterance and Inscription
3. The Message
4. Cold Day Light
5. Tāmaki 5000
6. Freedom Bells
7. Acoma (Phase II)

Released digitally on February 4 via Sunreturn