Boomkat Product Review:
Chain Reaction worshipping, elemental electronics by Canadian/Swiss duo, mapping vast, undulating topographies, and incorporating field recordings of The Alps, The Caucasus, and north of the Arctic Circle
In ‘Gap/Void’, post-techno mutator Automatisme and his Swiss spar, writer/academic, and field recordist/ambient musician/visual artist Paulus, present contrasting sides of heavily processed, rhythmic styles, and relatively subtler ambient panoramas in their first collaborative release. The ten-part album finds a gripping middle ground between their respective, differing approaches to sound arrangement, with Automatisme’s signature, erratic rhythms, comparable to Second Woman or Barker, deployed in balance with the multi-spatial layering of Paulus’ field recordings made at various ends - or should that be pinnacles - of the earth. True to both artists’ oeuvres their concept-laden thrust is rendered deftly in a range of adventurous rhythms and absorbingly visceral textures that create a series of ravishing, kinetic sound images that transport listeners deep into their interzone.
Equal parts psychogeographic study and fantasy terraforming, the two sides of ‘Gap/Void’ effortlessly sublimate a wealth of influence ranging from the C.20th minimalism of La Monte Young’s Dream Syndicate thru to the stacked chords of ‘70s mountaintop kosmiche, plus micro-sampled disco records and critical source material from the natural world, to achieve a vivid, if shifting, sense of space and place that surely betrays their native northerly latitude and Alpine altitude.
The first half hits square between their styles, with Automatisme’s displaced and ruptured rhythms switching between jagged, polytemporal meter in the 12 min ’Säntis’ to Vladislav Delay-like electro-dub in ‘Marwees’ and overpronating pulses in ‘Üble Schlucht’, to deep techno impulses recalling Matrix on ‘Blau Schnee’, with Paulus’ input most explicit in the iridescent greyscale swirl that comes to dominate the 2nd half’s ‘Altered Source Recordings’, which variously call to mind Thomas Köner’s work, both solo and with Porter Ricks, in the isolated climes of ’Schwarzhorn’ and the nithering grip of ‘Nob’.