Automat — Automat
(Bureau B BB161, 2014, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2015-03-17If you find multi-textured rhythms and percussion interesting, then you will be delighted by this debut release by the Berlin trio of Jochen Arbeit (guitarist with Die Haut and Einstürzende Neubauten), Achim Färber (drummer with Project Pitchfork, Prag and Phillip Boa), and bassist zeitblom (Sovetskoe Foto). Coming together in 2011, it took them three years to release their first album. Automat tells a story of Berlin’s four former airports: Tempelhof “THF,” Schönefeld “SXF,” Tegel “TXL,” and Gatow “GWW.” Plus there are three other percussive narratives on the disc: “The Streets” featuring Lydia Lunch, “Mount Tamalpais” featuring Genesis Breyer P-Orridge of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, and “Schlachtensee” featuring Blixa Bargeld of Einstürzende Neubauten. These three artists are more like old friends or trusted colleagues than strictly guests. Their spoken voices integrate with the music without dominating. In fact their voices lend more of an atmosphere than merely reciting or singing, as it can be difficult at times to discern what they are saying. Rhythm and percussion dominates the seven tracks and in many cases there is little to no melody, just some incongruous sounds accompanying the beats that oddly maintain your interest throughout each track. “SXF” is particularly hypnotic, pushing the listener to the verge of consciousness. There is something about this track that reminds me of Pyrolator’s “True Love” from the 1981 release Ausland. Though not for everyone, the adventuresome listener will find something interesting in between the grooves.
Related artist(s): Automat
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more