Album: Nothing Outside
Category: IDM / Ambient / Electronica
Release Date: 2020-08-28
It can be argued that Tony Young hasn’t changed much about Autoclav1.1’s sound over the course of 16 years, but there are worse things than for an artist to have a style that is definitely their own. Each album builds upon its own set of formulas, and Nothing Outside is no different – looped sequences of warm swelling analog synths, with subtle bass lines gradually revealing themselves along with layers of eclectic arpeggios and pensive, cold piano melodies resonating over dynamic percussive patterns. In true Autoclav1.1 fashion, the balance of organic and synthetic atmospheres is impeccable, the soundscapes always conjuring visuals of nature in its most temperate and frigid states; as well, the programming of the drums is intricate and tastefully executed, never going over-the-top or becoming so busy as to muddy the mix, while the synths are treated with a freer, looser approach with the sequences often relying on randomization and dancing around offbeat patterns. It’s an almost amateur method treated with Young’s refined sensibilities – he knows where to place each note so that nothing is ever as random as it sounds, with “Floor to Ceiling” being a prime example as it all coalesces into an almost orchestral arrangement of incessant melody. There is a sense of reverie to the album, particularly on tracks like “Nothing Outside,” “Locked Down,” or “Weeds Still Push Through,” the poetic piano lines with a pensive bass tone reminding this writer of some of the artist’s earlier output on the Tympanik imprint, but also reminiscent of the early ambient IDM of Autechre or Gridlock’s Formless album. The same can be said of “Hiraeth,” the plucky and pulsating synth tones and the lightly tinny snare sounds on the beat evoking an almost primitive trance sound that is actually quite dreamy in an almost ‘80s fashion, while the strumming sounds akin to an acoustic guitar on “A Bed In Each Window” followed by a hollow harmonic phrase. It’s as if Young is yearning for the halcyon days of his earlier career, but without Nothing Outside delving into outright reversion or regression. As well, the songs are rather short, none exceeding the four minute mark, which makes for a brisk but satisfying experience.
Website, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Bandcamp
Website, Facebook, Bandcamp
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)