For Automat’s „Modul Remixes #1“ we present a package of stunning remixes by Ricardo Villalobos & Max Loderbauer, Patrick Pulsinger and Shahrokh Dini.
Automat - Jochen Arbeit (Einstürzende Neubauten, Die Haut), Achim Färber (Phillip Boa & The Voodooclub, Skip McDonald) and Georg Zeitblom (wittmann/zeitblom) - operates like a well-oiled machine: it buzzes, it whirrs, it follows an unswerving course. Together with modular magician Max Loderbauer and Paul St. Hilaire aka Tikiman, Lydia Lunch and Mika Bajinski on vocal duties, they now present »Modul« their most varied and consistent album, on Compost Records.
Automat operate like a well-oiled machine: it buzzes, it whirrs, it follows an unswerving course. On its fourth album however, the trio shifts down a gear, further refines its musical approach and partners with other figures from the world of adventurous music. Besides Candy Bomber Studios neighbour Max Loderboder - with whom Jochen Arbeit, Achim Färber and Georg Zeitblom have already worked together in 2015 for an EP -, they are joined on the microphone by dub legend Paul St. Hilaire aka Tikiman, the undisputed queen of gutter poetry Lydia Lunch and the newcomer Mika Bajinski. They all contributed to the recordings according to the guiding principle which lends its name to »Modul«: the eight pieces were written collectively based on a building block system that dynamically set the compositional process in motion and evenly divided responsibility between all participants. The result is a musical perpetuum mobile - an album with the steady resting pulse of a dub production that always stays on the move.
As an album, »Modul« captures a continuous process of transformation that was first to be experienced in the year 2018, when Automat presented an earlier version at the Pop-Kultur festival as part of a commissioned work. Having been invited by the curatorial team, Zeitblom, Färber and Arbeit together with their guests St. Hilaire, Lunch and Gemma Ray created a live set that was resolutely developed in the studio on the basis of single modular elements that were (re-)combined according to the principle of a resonance module: it’s a to-and-fro between the individual members, structures morph and the sound incessantly takes on different shapes. It is precisely this approach that necessitates the constant evolution of the pieces which together with producer Ingo Krauss were then moulded into an album that has not lost an iota of its approachable and improvisational character. Compared to the three theme- oriented predecessors »Automat« »Plusminus« and »Ostwest« that explicitly dealt with Berlin airports, dub as a genre and the European refugee crisis respectively, »Modul« allows for a thematic permeability that mirrors its musical openness.
After »Modul 15« opens the album with deep dub sounds and a rolling bass line, »Easy Riding« increases the speed with gentle riddims that are perfectly in line with St. Hilaire’s wanderlusty lyrics. Already in the next song, »Ghost« Bajinski celebrates her debut with detached vocals on top of a piece dripping of melancholy that is characterised by Loderbauer’s modular sounds. And so the album continues from the interlocked rhythms of »Ankaten« - complemented by the ghostly voices of Lunch and St. Hilaire - to the balladesque »Nothing Strange« with St. Hilaire and the feverish vocoder piece »Who For Eyes« until it finally reaches the last two pieces, »Pavo« and »Modul 11,« which present themselves as a deeply relaxed coda to the previous tracks.
»Modul« thus passes through a series of moods, timbres and musical ideas that keep on forming ever- new formations. The extended artistic approach much like the enlarged personnel makes this album the most varied yet conceptually consistent record in Automat’s discography and presents them as a well- oiled machine that buzzes, whirrs, and follows an unswerving course towards new and unheard-of sounds.
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.