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Automat biography
One-Off project from Rome, Italy in 1978

Claudio GIZZI (Aka Jean-Pierre Posit, born 16/05/1946) career is obviously recognised for eloquent neo-classical compositions used as soundtrack (mainly in horror and B movies like "Flesh for Frankenstein" / "Blood for Dracula", "Quoi?"). Back in 1978 he launched a curious & innovative musical project with Romano Musumarra and Marrio Maggi. Called Automat and only known for one publication, this little project can be considered as a reminiscence of Kraftwerk minimal but powerfully effective electronics. The music is entirely built around the MCS70 synthesiser and progammings. Automat is more into rhythmical electronic territories than into cinematic, textural ambient fields. An interesting musical document for collectors.

See also: WiKi

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Bureau B 2014
$23.23 (used)
Bureau B 2016
Bureau B 2015
$11.33 (used)
Automat - EP - Karat Records - KARAT 59Automat - EP - Karat Records - KARAT 59
Karat Records
Groupe Artifice 2017

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AUTOMAT discography

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3.78 | 45 ratings

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Automat by AUTOMAT album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.78 | 45 ratings

Automat Progressive Electronic

Review by FalconBleck

3 stars #37 Review

A misterious album that's sort a of a miracle that exists, done "only" by using the sounds on the MCS70 monophonic synthesizer, a musical instrument that was never released to the public and that only had 1 unit made (the prototype), one of the rarest instruments out there but certainly not THE rarest (there was one instrument that was only developed in the 1800, played once and never recorded).

The synthesizer ended up on an Area album (wich i'll probably review) that used the instrument to some minor extents, so the bigest outing that demonstrates what the MCS70 could do is this album.

1.- Automat 5/10 This 17 minute 3 part piece was the contribution to this album done by Claudio Gizzi. The first thing of notice that made me like this album and this theme at first was the unique sound, but after listening to it for more than 2 years, i can say that it has wore off pretty quickly, not the sound, that's still fascintating, but the theme is just too repetitive, has some good ideas here and there yet i don't think this track has much going on to be 17 minutes long.

2.- Droid 7/10 Here onwards, every song was made by Romano Musmarra and it shows, he is clearly the one that was most inspired in this project, the 3 pieces writen by him explore different aspects of what the instrument could do right, most of wich are space themed and scifi stuff. This theme here is really catchy, and has some like robot effects but it doesn't give me that droid feel. It's also a theme that gets quite repetitive, atleast it has the decency to be much shorter than its predecesor and i also think that it sounds better overall.

3.- Ultraviolet 5/10 This theme explores the scary scifi aspect that this instrument does. It has many similarities to the X-Files theme (wich it says it was done in 1996 but i swear that i heard it somewhere much earlier, it think that it was done by Delia Derbyshire but i can't find it) and it could very well work in the context of that series, i must say though, it is a really slow piece, sound like a really easy improv piece that anyone with musical knowledge can do.

4.- Mecadence 8/10 The final track here is the one that explores the most, the sounds concieved here and the composition are really cool, sadly though, this theme was released in an incomplete state, but that's ok, what we have here is really good and its a really good way to end this album. It leaves me wondering, what if...

So, the biggest star here is the MCS70, i must say that the sounds it produced are better than the compositions made to showcase it, even though i could say that both artists explored to good extents in different areas what this could do, it was not enough, i would really love to hear more from the MCS70.

I will give the MCS70 a 100 but this album gets 63/100 wich means 3 Stars.

 Automat by AUTOMAT album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.78 | 45 ratings

Automat Progressive Electronic

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars It seems to me the important thing about electronic music, the heart and drive of the form, is in how it sounds. Sure the compositions are crucial and thematic direction vital, but it's the depth of a recording, how it vibrates, hums, quavers and trembles, that makes the difference between common and outstanding. I can dig a magnificent sounding cacophony more than an awful sounding calliope. It should penetrate you physically, reach down into your aural heart. You should be immersed, enveloped. Swallowed.

And since Automat was a singular project led by one of Italy's best low-budget scorers, Claudio Gizzi ~ using Mario Maggi's never-actually-manufactured Memory Controlled Synthesizer built in 1977 ~ you know there's going to be a transmission worth receiving. Nuanced chirps tug on monster title cut 'automat', taken up by the alloys of the MCS70 describing the cybernetic landscape and pulling us through a long flight over alien murals of unknown colors and ores. Present is Giorgio Moroder, Goblin, and other suspects but as is often the case with a one-off, Automat is more satisfying than any of its influences, more pure of purpose. Better.

Granted the twenty-minute title resides within the dance-beat tempo and reflects ZYX's Italodisco of the early 80s, but it's also a deliberate piece of movement in sound that develops with texture, atmosphere and mood. 'Droid' has high strangeness as a machine comes undone, 'ultraviolet' enters the Mutara Nebula with us in tow, and cybernetic 'mecadence' is industrial one moment, light & astral the next.

A record that is both terribly dated and a perfect starter for the Electronic Prog virgin, Automat is well worth investigating for anyone quietly curious about, or not normally drawn to, the subgenre.

 Automat by AUTOMAT album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.78 | 45 ratings

Automat Progressive Electronic

Review by 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.

 Automat by AUTOMAT album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.78 | 45 ratings

Automat Progressive Electronic

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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.
Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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