No Soul

Dadabots x Keyon Christ

April 2021/100% neural net synthesized soul/funk. 12 hours of it, free to download and remix.

Dadabots and Keyon Christ have partnered to bring to life a new incarnation of soul music as imagined through creative AI and human ingenuity.

The Debut Track

The Experience

The Process

CJ Carr and Zack Kukowski are the AI musical collaboration known as Dadabots

About Dadabots

CJ Carr  

For hours every morning in his basement, CJ practices blast beats, training for the day he’ll need to represent humanity in a drum-off against the machines. Despite his practice, CJ realized the easiest way to collaborate with his favorite musicians was to create algorithms for them to use. He has competed in 65+ hackathons, which is way too many all-nighters drinking tea and coding. CJ’s day job is CTO at a hip hop record label building hybrid audio/AI/EEG inventions.

Zack Zukowski

"It's like baking cookies" — Zack, waiting for the first epoch to finish training. 

Zack is a music technologist and multi-instrumentalist. In high school, Zack toured with a punk band. He started creating music bots after meeting CJ at Berklee College, where they had worked on music-education games. Zack approached his machine learning studies from an audio perspective, presenting his research on neural music synthesis at NIPS 2017, MUME 2018, and MILC 2019. Now, he manages the machine learning team at Pex, an audio/video search engine. Zack falls asleep at night imagining an absurd future of bots remixing bots, generating music only for machines to listen to in vast abandoned sections of the Internet.

Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

About Keyon Christ

Keyon Christ, formerly known as Mitus, is a Los Angeles-via-Atlanta futurist meditating in the realms of technology and music production. At age 19, Christ landed placements with Rihanna on the industry-rattling ANTI album (Goodnight Gotham), as well as Kanye’s grandiose The Life of Pablo (FML feat. The Weeknd), both of which received Grammy nominations as well as platinum certifications by the RIAA. With aims of furthering his own creative autonomy, Keyon dropped his debut They Don’t Want Us EP in 2019. Besides furthering his own artistic endeavors, Keyon is continuing to secretly shape the next generation of music technology.

Twitter | Instagram | Website

Harshit Agrawal
Photo: Luke Fenstemaker

Featured Sessions

DADABOTS: Artisanal Machine Funk, Generative Black Metal

DADABOTS – CJ Carr and Zack Zukowski - are two hacker-musicians taking Deep Learning to generative music. Their work – the products of large datasets of recorded audio, processed to produce new music – creates a new meaning for ‘sampling’. Their 24/7 livestreams - some running non-stop for 2 years now - constantly synthesize music with neural nets, from datasets of Math Rock, Free Jazz, Death Metal, Funk, and even the Beatles, challenging the listener to reinterpret their understanding of human-created music. Their series of Impossible Covers creates style-transferred songs from pop canon - performed by other artists, such as Frank Sinatra Sings Britney Spears and Nirvana Cover Gorillaz.  

This talk will feature an overview of their technical work and toolsets, a dive into their artistic exploration, and brand new work with hip-hop producer Keyon Christ.

Deep Instruments: The Emergence of Machine Learning in Music Production

Dataset processing isn't new to musicians; entire musical genres are based solely on manipulating samples. Musical production techniques have become so sophisticated that listeners only perceive musical textures nowadays. But behind the scenes, the methods of making those textures are changing dramatically. This panel will feature creators and users of electronic instruments that rely on deep learning for their performance — whether to create entirely new sounds and music from existing recordings, or to give the music playing a human form.