[microsound-announce] Autistici - Complex Tone Test

David Newman dwnewman at clara.co.uk
Wed Nov 18 15:54:37 EST 2009

 <http://www.autistici.com/> http://www.autistici.com/

Out now on KESH

The Milk Factory Review:

Autistici is the solo project of Sheffield-based David Newman, who also runs
the excellent Audiobulb imprint. His first major release, Volume Objects,
appeared on Taylor Deupree's 12K last year, but, prior to this, Newman had
released a handful of EPs on small labels, and his music had also been
featured on a number of compilations. On his debut album, Newman crafted his
soundscapes, built from both treated acoustic sound sources and purely
electronic components, with delicate impressionist touches, weaving them
into beautiful evocative pieces.

With Complex Tone Test, released on Cambridge-based Keshhhhhh Recordings,
Newman manipulates electro-acoustic textures once again, weaving them into
vast ethereal formations which often appear pretty static and monolithic,
yet constantly morph and evolve, their course altered ever so slightly over
their lifespan. This is very much the case with the more minimal pieces
found here. The fluid drone structures of Refractory or Meadow Bed are
extremely bare and gossamer, but are animated by a momentum deep within
their respective sonic fabric which gives them a particular sheen, while the
ampler La Spaziale S1 Vivaldi at times seems to echo in all sorts of
directions at once.

This time round though, Newman pushes purely electronic components much more
forward and deploys an arsenal of clicks and glitches to give tracks such as
Meticule, Resonating Wire, Closing or Annualized Light (2.2) a totally
different outline. The result is particularly impressive on Resonating Wire
and Annualized Light (2.2), which, despite pretty desolate backdrops, are
given strong relief with just a few additional noises, while the glitches
heard toward the beginning of Meticule progressively gather into a
fully-formed rhythmic pulse later on. Elsewhere, Newman brings richer
patterns to his electro-acoustic formations. The mellotron-fuelled Key For A
Lockable Cabinet is a particularly vibrant and pastoral piece, while later,
the more complex layering of real instruments and electronics on
Disintegrated Interest pushes the record in a much more challenging
direction for a moment.

Stepping in the limelight once again as Autistici, David Newman has created
with Complex Tone Test, a record that takes the space defined by its
predecessor and expands it greatly, without altering its very essence in the
slightest. The result is particularly convincing, ensuring Autistici's place
amongst the more imaginative musicians of his generation.


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