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AUTOMAT

Automat

Progressive Electronic


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philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Content Development & Krautrock Team
4 stars I first discovered Claudio Gizzi in his few precious collaborations for movie scores. This is a strong classical based musician. In this project he is accompanied by Romano Musmarra & Claudio Gizzi & Mario Maggi to provide more substantial materials. Published in 1978, this automat self title and unique album can be seen as a classic of late 70's avant garde electro pop music. This is a superb listening brillantly alternating unearthly loopy electronic ambiences with amazing retro-synth pop melodies. This work is not so far from Wolfgang Riechmann, Kraftwerk and early Colin Potter's successes in post-modern cold electro. This album doesn't have the soulful-colourful grandeur of others 70's synthscapes from Italy (Francesco Leprino, Futuro Antico, Telaio Magnetico...) but it remains absolutely original, perfectly achieved and well orchestrated. Side A culminates the album with a gorgeous sci-fi & enigmatic epic dominated by electronic scintillations, surreal themes and hyper catchy-hypno rythms / melodies. The ambience is dynamic, energetic but also admits obscure, dark, haunted vibes that remin me Goblin's 70s horror soundtracks. Droid reiterates this Goblin-esque feeling (notably in Phenomena) with tremendous, urgent rythms, scarily (a little bit cheesy) synthezised melodies. Ultraviolet features suspensful, long droning sequences in a rather icy, moody atmosphere. A mysterious, scary, cheesy and proggy electronic album that clearly deserves a listening.

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Send comments to philippe (BETA) | Report this review (#194530)
Posted Saturday, December 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This self-titled debut by Automat is very spacial and full of energy that really makes this album seem like pre-dance music with a touch from Goblin's Argento film soundtracks. After the sounds of an alarm on a space station and the growing sound of the space outside, Kraftwerkian melodies rush in at full force through the pod-bay doors, but with much more energy and more of a darker quality than I've heard from Kraftwerk. Ghostly voices, robotic whistling and mechanical humming make up the visceral elements that make this album a great listening experience.

But the last two tracks really make this stand out to me. "Ultraviolet" is free of the Kraftwerkian melodies and beats, and instead is dead and cold with a bleak humming that becomes almost operatic, like a ghost in space trying to tell you something that may save your life, but in a long dead language that if incomprehensible. "Mecadance", however, is probably the most optimistic track on this album. Though it starts with the ghostly presence from the last track, the sounds of light glittering from the stars and bouncing off of the wings of your craft become blinding, and then the sounds of drowned-out bells or wailing from unknown creatures from the depths of space end the album on a note of complete euphoria and relaxation.

Honestly, I think anyone who enjoys Goblin's soundtracks and any of Kraftwerk's '70s material should find this enjoyable as well. It's definitely more interesting than Kraftwerk's music and it doesn't contain any slightly goofy vocals, and is fairly accessible.

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Send comments to colorofmoney91 (BETA) | Report this review (#437401)
Posted Friday, April 22, 2011 | Review Permalink

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