Automat’s Plus minus: trying to work it out

12th January 2016

Title: Plusminus

Label: Bureau B

Automat likes a slow beat. This tempo is a contact point throughout most of the album. It’s obviously one that Automat is comfortable with, feels attached to and won’t let go (like a dead man refuses to release that piece of paper which acts as a clue in the best detective mysteries). It’s that rolling, lumbering beat that was growingly popular in the mid-90s when intelligent techno was making headway.

In fact, the more you think of this music, the more it sounds like a variation on the band, Fluke. Sure, the vocal, when it decides to appear, is not the same growling bass delivery of Fluke but the structure of the beats are definitely in that ball park. Even the change from the introductory simple beat in track one, RE 201 to the next melodic phase, uses the same percussive transition. It’s uncanny.

The next track, Achtung, maintains the Fluke sequence while Plusminus at least varies matters a touch. The rolling beat is still there, at the core of the track, but the vocal has a Germanic delivery. Still, there’s not that much difference between this and Fl…oh, you know. Track 4, SST 282 has a, you know who, sound while the following track, EMT 140 moves the track slightly askew and, thankfully, away from Fluke but, hey, not too far eh? We don’t want to get a nose bleed do we?

It’s odd, you know, I initially listened to these tracks on Soundcloud. The first five are snippets which you can quickly play to get my point. When the sixth track began I thought to myself, ‘Oh yes! Now that’s more like it. Let’s see which track this one is called.’ But no, it was one of those ‘People who played Automat also played…’ selections from a completely different band.

Which says it all doesn’t it?