In a study carried out earlier this year, researchers from Oxford and Yale University estimated that artificial intelligence could automate all human tasks by as soon as the year 2051. Following their study, the researchers stated that these changes would reshape modern life as we know it, entering humankind into a whole new generation of robotic living. The abilities these machines could posses is terrifying and goes beyond what we understand as robotically possible, with researchers suggesting that future artificial intelligence will be able to perform tasks such as producing a top 40 hit and writing best-selling novels.

What would it be like to live in a world where the culture we consume is provided by machines, rather than from the mind of a real human being? It’s a scary thought, and it’s the focus of English producer Stuart Howard’s latest EP, The End of Industry. Howard, better known as Lapalux, stated that this record represents his take on the concept of ‘human vs machine’, and uses his typically experimental sound to explore this not-so-distant future where super-intelligent machines control and create all we know as human.

Lapalux’s last full-length album, Ruinism, only came out a few months prior to the release of this EP, and unsurprisingly The End of Industry picks up where that record left off, exploring a huge sonic palette of equally abrasive and ethereal modulated sound. Blending these juxtaposing elements isn't an easy task, yet it’s one that Howard accomplishes with impressive ease. This is evident on the EP’s lead single ‘Holding On’, where otherworldly sci-fi synths gently rise and shimmer, before breaking into a storm of fierce, distorted kick drums and frantic percussive hits. It’s a striking piece of music that perfectly balances its dynamics, and despite the drastically opposing soundscapes presented the track runs with an incredible smoothness and flow.

In an interview with Clash earlier this year, Lapalux said some of his tracks can take “two, three, even four months to complete,” and it's not difficult to imagine how this might be true. Howard’s attention to detail is immense, and is showcased on EP opener ‘Complectual’. Stacked with an unfathomable number of instrumental layers the song builds and builds with incredible complexity. Despite its huge scale, Howard perfectly calculates and carefully crafts every individual glitching synthesizer and rushing ambient chord swell. Mixing and mastering tracks of this scale must be a mighty task - if this EP is Lapalux’s portrayal of mankind’s transition to a fully automated world, then ‘Complectual’ is the robot utopia where everything runs with flawless programmed efficiency.

For all its dense computerised sound, one of the EP’s most captivating moments comes when Howard strips back the synthesized noise and allows space for a warm grand piano to breathe and wander through a haunting chord progression. There is such an irreplaceable natural beauty to the gentle press of fingertips onto a piano’s keys, and so much to be admired in the way a human brain can move those fingers in patterns that evoke such undeniable emotion. A fully automated future may well be coming, but for now we should cherish these artists whose creativity and ingenuity makes the world a better place to be, and fight these programmed robot hitmakers for as long as possible.