Anyone who endeavors to free music from the weight of things
inevitably lands at Dub—the analog mother of all minimalist pop species.
The studio as a black cube, which devours all that is dispensable or
banal. Rhythm and sound are more important than melodies. And repetition
reveals itself as a form of change—if only
because the focus gravitates to the small yet important details.
Under this premise, the Berlin-based trio Automat has now
recorded an exceptional album. Denser and yet even more unflinching than
the debut they released one year ago, PLUSMINUS recalls the mysterious
monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001”. There’s nothing here that one
could hold onto, and yet so much of it that the listener is transported
into a kind of trance.
While its predecessor was still characterized by prominent guest
vocalists like Lydia Lunch, Blixa Bargeld and Genesis P-Orridge, here it
is the studio that speaks. It is the 1950s analog technology of Candy
Bomber Studios in Berlin-Tempelhof. Automat recorded all the tracks on
the album within three days in January.
Without much rehearsal, the first take was final—limitation as strength.
The thunderous bass lines, delirious rhythms and hypnotic sounds
of PLUSMINUS make the notion of categories and genres seem superfluous.
Of course, we are not dealing with classic dub reggae here. And the
Detroit Techno of musicians such as Terrence Dixon is another story. Yet
oscillating between these poles is a music that even draws from jazz
and other genres without compromising its autonomy.
Automat is: Jochen Arbeit (Einstürzende Neubauten, Die Haut),
Achim Färber (Project Pitchfork, Prag, Philipp Boa), Georg Zeitblom
01. Mono (5:12)
02. RE 201 (5:58)
03. Achtung (6:16)
04. H 910 (5:54)
05. Plusminus (5:15)
06. DMX 15-80 S (4:51)
07. SST 282 (5:56)
08. EMT 140 (7:08)
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