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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Autoclav1.1 - "Embark On Departure"

Artist: Autoclav1.1
Album: Embark On Departure
Year: 2012
Label: Tympanik
Genre: Electronica




The new album from Autoclav1.1, entitled Embark On Departure would be more aptly named "continuing the departure", for Autoclav1.1 has developed and established a very recognizable sound and style, from which he deviants little on this record. My favorite records of his were the IDM-y Visitor Attractions and the brilliant, I guess you could call it, "post-industrial" record Loves No Longer Lives Here. His work seems to have gotten a bit lighter and more streamlined since then, and though he has long since ditched the IDM style percussion, he retains the melancholy atmosphere, focus on piano melodies, and steady, upbeat drum loops.

Good stuff:
+ All the good stuff from the last few albums re-appears here as well: the catchy, beautiful, sad piano parts; the light, sombre pads; the upbeat drums (sounds like an acoustic kit) pushing the songs along. He has found a good balance for these sounds and they all sit together and intertwine perfectly. Great atmosphere that is more akin to post rock, though sans guitar (n5md fans should dig it). Good, even production.
+ Although it is a lot of the same stuff as prior albums, there are some new tricks here such as the addition of aggressive vocals from Leather Strip's Claus Larsen on "Scars" providing some bite, coupled with some interesting atypical synth noises (also the only track with chugging guitar - it fits though); the electronics of Displacer's Mike Morton on "Lights Out" which sounds like a great fusion of old Displacer and Autoclav1.1; and some darker tracks with heavier kick drums like "Foolishly Sentimental" and "Today Is The Day". The fast breakbeats on "Recent Conversation" infuse it with a Saltillo-esque vibe, and "Nine" has a slower plodding beat reminiscent of Portishead and similar trip hop. So even though a lot of the elements are familiar, this album is not without variety and creativity. I found myself interested all the way through; he switches things up enough from song to song to keep the vibe fresh.

Bad stuff:
- You've heard a lot of it before on other Autoclav1.1 albums.
- The tracks are all pretty straight forward without any surprises.

A solid album, which is very much is a continuance of the last few he has been doing. Not my favorite, but not a bad place to start if you're unfamiliar with the artist. He has a great style that is instantly recognizable and unique, definitely someone whom you want to own a few albums by. If you liked the last few and are looking for more, check this one out. The only negative thing about it is that he has kind of been there done that.

Overall Rating: 7.5-8/10

1 comment:

Theo said...

This is fantastic!