automatic electric

by ABRAXAS APPARATUS

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recorded february 2012

audio by A.A. photographs by J.M.

abraxasapparatus.bandcamp.com

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released January 15, 2013

Pulse-based minimalism at its best, whether you approach the concept via Steve Reich or Basic Channel. Abraxas Apparatus uses deceptively simple rhythmic patterns and, over the course of 40 minutes, layers them in ways that make them denser and denser, but never uptight. Maybe the only reason (if it is one) that you wouldn’t dance to it is that it has an electric hum where you would expect a kick-ass bass drum.

The title “Automatic Electric” sums this album up neatly. Sampled sounds of the humming of an electric grid and possibly some related glitches are used as percussion instruments. What might seem to emphasise the automated, “machine-like” quality often attributed to music based on repetitive beats surprisingly does the opposite: 150 years into the age of electricity, the warm, analogue humming of powerlines seems to have become something so familiar to us that it actually feels comforting as music, although it could kill you if touched in real life. But, as Einstürzende Neubauten already had it back in the 80s: “No beauty without danger”. And this certainly is a beautiful album, constantly pretending to build towards an epic climax but then gradually dissolving back into calmly poised immanence. No need for great gestures and grand finales here, the beauty is all in the repetition itself, and the music is just there, neither imposing itself nor becoming boring.

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attenuation circuit Augsburg, Germany

attenuation circuit - label for experimental music

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