Dec 2013 23

Autoclav1.1 - Portents CallAutoclav1.1
Category: Ambient / IDM / Electronic
Album: Portents Call
Stars: 3
Blurb: While not the most ambitious outing, the hallmarks of Autoclav1.1’s sound are present and given a much warmer resonance than past releases.


After over nine years of making music and releasing seven albums of original material, one might imagine that Tony Young would be close to running out of musical steam, but with his latest release, Portents Call, he proves that Autoclav1.1 still has much ground to cover. Encompassing elements of IDM, ambient, and industrial to create a sound that is instrumental yet lyrical, atmospheric yet catchy and above all melodic, Portents Call shows Young yet again bringing to the fore his penchant for merging the organic elements of piano and live drums with cold electronics; except that this time around, the electronics are not so cold anymore. Shimmering pads resound throughout the album, as it does through the bulk of Young’s work, but from the onset of “The Pledge,” there is a warm embrace that is less wintry than his past releases. With the presence of a strangely enticing if indistinct female vocal fading in and out with the steady yet danceable rhythms, the song takes on a celestial and spring-like feeling that pervades a number of tracks on Portents Call. This continues on such songs as “Wafer Skin” as a smooth bass guitar complements the sprinkles of oscillating pads and interweaving percussion, starting slow and relaxed and then speeding up to a bouncy breakbeat, or “Curiosity Missions” as its swells of twinkling and mysterious atmosphere give way to an energetic drumbeat backed by a light and airy piano arpeggio, the faintly distorted echoes of voices lending to the spacey feel. As well, there is a song like “Interweb Pugilism” with its arpeggio melody evoking a classic electric piano, the beat a combination of a light break and skitters of electronic scratches and punches, while “Odersfelt” plays as an ominous interlude of resonant bass tones and hollow ambience. With “Descending West” ending the album with a sharp hip-hop breakbeat and a sparse bass underscoring its minimalist feel, Portents Call maintains a state of relative calm from beginning to end. Moments of tension are generally kept grounded by the soothing haze of the sonic environments Young creates; an almost jazzy restraint against the urge to explode into musical mania. For this and the album’s warmer tone, Portents Call does stand out somewhat from Autoclav1.1’s past output, although the hallmarks of the sound are there, especially in the heavy usage of piano melody to accentuate each track. It’s not the project’s most ambitious outing, but it is an album that serves to keep Tony Young tweaking the Autoclav1.1 sound, hopefully toward something even less frigid and more adventurous.
Track list:

  1. The Pledge
  2. Zoff Elemental
  3. Black Powder
  4. Wafer Skin
  5. Big Lighter
  6. Interweb Pugilism
  7. Home Made Stratus
  8. Odersfelt
  9. Curiosity Missions
  10. The Currency Stone
  11. Erbowl
  12. Walking Walls
  13. Descending West

Autoclav1.1 Website
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Tympanik Audio Website
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Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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