British electronic music artist Sam Kidel (El Kid) is due to release a track inspired by the inner workings of a Google data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Live @ Google Data Center is a complex, algorithm-driven soundscape generated using a virtual approximation of the facility.

According to Kidel, the 12-minute composition is meant to evoke an illegal warehouse rave held in a maximum security location.

Live @ Google Data Center is one of the two tracks appearing on Silicon Ear LP: the second, titled Voice Recognition Dos Attack, cleverly disguises a human voice used in the recording with an audio patch.

Silicon Ear LP
Silicon Ear LP cover – Sam Kidel / Latency


Sam Kidel’s work explores the physical aspects of the digital world. His latest album, Disruptive Muzak, was based on personal experiences in call center environment.

Live @ Google Data Center was created using the technique Kidel calls ‘mimetic hacking’ – the track replicates the acoustics of the data center building by simulating 3D space – in this instance, a data center, complete with server racks.

The simulation was generated using publicly available photos of the site. Kidel describes the result as “chamber music meets free-party-scene warehouse-invasion.”

The second track plays with the concept of voice recognition, intentionally disabling the functionality of the software by triggering recognition of phonemes - the smallest units of speech. The outcome of this experiment will be available digitally and on 12-inch vinyl via Latency Recordings on December 14.

You can listen to a 4-minute extract from ‘Live @ Google Data Center’ here.

This is not the first time the facility in Council Bluffs has been used for artistic purposes: in 2017, Google commissioned illustrator Gary Kelley to paint its exterior. Kelley’s mural represents the history of Council Bluffs as the American information hub, from Lewis and Clark to the Transcontinental Railroad.