8/10 Laurie Staff review, 06 November 2014
In a world where unique sound sources are steadily getting harder and harder to find, audio wizards Automat & Schneider (trademarked, so beware, name pirates) come up with an ingenious plan, detailed in a brilliant and hilarious blurb on the back of the sleeve. They’ve only gone and got a dancing crowd to tread all over blank records mid-swing to capture their “energy”, helpfully informing us that “the scratches created noise” which was then remixed into some sweet dub vibes.
In fact, the idea has so inspired me that I’ve come up with a way to deal with Ian’s insistence on playing appallingly abysmal shoegaze on Norman FM. First, make a recording of his cry of terror as we stomp on his first pressing of Souvlaki while giving him a good slapping and cut that to 12”, then stomp on that record for a while, and make an album out of it. We could call it Iantroducing… or MadvillIany.
Torture aside, this idea lies close to those super-pretentious sound art projects, yet the blurb is written with their tongues firmly in their cheeks, giving such an idea the fun edge that it needs. The music speaks for itself - as opposed to ominous music concrete, we’re instead treated to some musty-dusty but easygoing dub on the A side, building up to a fully fledged dub techno extravaganza. The grubby sound sources definitely give it a wider sonic scope than most dub techno, hissing away in the background while a synth bass helps them along. While Automat takes this smokey approach on the A, Schneider TM veers two ways on the flip - B1 focuses on the poppy clicks created by those frenzied shoes, melding them with dark minimal garage. But it’s the final track that really hits the spot here, forming a sort of Oneohtrix Point Never overture brimming with melody and bristling texture. It builds to this porcupine-level bristly distortion towards the end that Merzbow would be well pleased with.
The strength and self awareness of the idea that these two have summoned help this record stand out from much of the world of sonic art, provoking inspiration in the listener. I’m coming for you, Ian - and your Souvlaki.
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