Autorotation – Everything is Everything (Teknostan) 25/05/09

May 5, 2009 by  

autoration

Autorotation are a London-based ambient electronica band who describes themselves as “Kate Bush singing on a Sigur Ros track that was remixed by Aphex Twin”. Those are some pretty big names to be throwing around, for a band only on their first properly released album.

Surprisingly enough, Everything is Everything does not live up to those grandiose claims. Singer Robyn Sellman has a sweet enough voice, but it lacks the impact of Kate Bush’s vocal presence. To add to these vocal shortcomings, the album does not have the depth of melody to caim the Sigur Ros comparison and it lacks the impact of anything remixed by Aphex Twin.

Now, ridiculous PR claims aside we can move on and consider the album on its own merit. With Igor Olegar (guitar), Phil Stutely (bass) and Kal Bukov (drums), Autorotation have a real band, and this organic component to the music is noticeable, setting them apart from their ambient/shoegaze/electronica contemporaries.

Album opener Mittelschmertz is remarkable, because it sounds almost exactly as it looks on the page. Broken, jagged beats are given free reign over a gentle orchestral melody that accommodates Sellman’s warm but often unintelligible lyrics, and big cello notes are layered in halfway through, adding another engaging layer of complexity.

The irritatingly named Ginger Pants has accordion touches reminiscent of a small village band in the Alps, jammed back to back with random electronic spasms, all overlaid by Sellman’s soft vocals. It is an unusual sound to say the least, but not unpleasant.

Final track Everything is Everything ends proceedings on a typical note. Big harmonised vocals flow without ever actually appearing to say anything, while a variety of electronic notes and horn sounds pop up intermittently. It is a perfect reminder of all that has come before.

This album summarises its genre perfectly as it is technically intricate, well-produced and intelligent. Unfortunately, the lethargic pace and tone makes it a real effort to listen through in one sitting. As a result it is very difficult to get excited about.

[rating:2.5]

By Liam Clune


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