Exposé Online banner

Automat — Automat
(Bureau B BB161, 2014, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2015-03-17

Automat Cover artIf 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.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Automat

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Manticore - Time to Fly – Manticore is a new outfit from Sweden and with that name a heavy Emerson, Lake and Palmer influence is bound to be present. The first track, "New Foundation," ripples with ELP right down to the main...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues