[Music] Automat – Modul

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This year will be booming for new releases, and this one, in particular, has me very excited (I’m excited about all new music, but this…).

First, about Automat:

Automat are guitarist Jochen Arbeit (Einstürzende Neubauten, Die Haut, amongst others), drummer Achim Färber (Phillip Boa & The Voodooclub, Skip McDonald amongst others) and bassist Georg Zeitblom (known for his solo work and his collaborations with Fred Frith, John Zorn, Arto Lindsay, J.G. Thirlwell, Pyrolater, as well as others). Since 2014, the trio has released the three studio albums »Automat,« »Plusminus« and »Ostwest« and collaborated with several central figures from the world of experimental music, amongst them Genesis P. Orridge, Schneider TM and Max Loderbauer. For their album »Modul,« released in 2019 through Compost Records, they have again worked together with Loderbauer and invited Paul St. Hilaire aka Tikiman, Lydia Lunch and Mika Bajinski to contribute vocals for the record.

I don’t think you could have a much more stunning introduction than this. The three of these musicians have so much history in improvisational, post-Industrial music, dub and Darkwave that a book might barely be enough to document.

The beauty of this record is the deep, dark, yet thoroughly relaxed groove. This is crisp, precise, focused groove, not the sort of thing one would find in Lee “Scratch” Perry’s wilder moments. Think more along the lines of Adrian Sherwood. The vocals are nearly magical, hazy, and you still manage not to get too lost in the moment.

Compost Records is known for putting out records that are consistently as close to perfect as you can get. They can be very proud of adding this one to the canon.

[Music] BlankFor.ms – Side A Feelings

Judging by the tags listed on this rather charming EP, I would have thought that this music is meant for the dance floor.  It is, actually.  It’s just the sort of thing you would want to listen to after a night of pounding noise and stomping around in your best shoes.  With this release, BlankFor.ms lets you lilt gently into a relaxed phase, ending your evening on an exalted note.  There is a cracked, crunchy beauty to this album.  I look forward to exploring the band further.

[Music] Nass Zuruck – Golden Age

This is the last release of 2019 for Kalamine Records, a label out of Bordeaux, France, who have a deep catalog of bands deeply made in the post-punk and electro-Industrial mold.

Nass Zuruck release a very short album, but this is good.  The grooves are tight, meaty, and it left me with a tinge of disappointment because the album was far too short.  This is definitely for fans of Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft and mid-era Wax Trax! Records fare.

[Music] Mikhail Chekalin – Symphony​-​Phonogram

Mikhail Chekalin deserves at least as credit for being a leading light in electronic music and New Age music as artists like Klaus Schulze, Peter Frohmader or Vangelis.  That might be a provocative statement to some who enjoy this kind of music, but I think the comparison stands, as Mikhail has been releasing quality music consistently for so long that a new album is simply expected to be solid now.  He’s never let me down yet.

[Music] Various Artists – A Last Sunset, A Celebration of Candy Lozier, Volume 1

There is a group of wonderful ambient musicians on Facebook who constantly release music of stunningly good quality.  Names like Cousin Silas, Martin Neuwirth, Glen Sogge and Scott Lawlor among others are among the great names working in this field.  Another was Candy Lozier, a fine composer who passed away in September of this year.  She collaborated with so many wonderful musicians, ran a label, and contributed mightily to the spread of ambient and electronic music.  This compilation is a great memorial to all she did for the scene.