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Originally conceived as a demonstrative show reel for various psychoacoustic techniques as a form of data delivery and an approach to a philosophical understanding of the world; the accumulation of material began to imply that the initial focus became an investigation of sleep-states and hypnagogia. Still, the main thrust of the initial proposal - to make sense of the world - remains valid. While there is still no agreed-upon scientific explanation as to why we need to sleep, a popular theory is that it's the time required for our unconscious to unpack the experiences from the day and transfer them into memory. The stream of false sensory information we experience as both sleeping and waking dreams may well be a side-effect of this.
Here then, is the mind's process working in reverse. The vast majority of sounds present here stem from real documented experiences, however much cut and treated. The representation of the material now closely resembles that of dreams, with their loops, confused narratives, and seemingly unrelated material that nonetheless makes sense while we are experiencing it; it is only later, upon waking, that confusion, puzzlement, or trepidation sets in when we attempt to analyse them.
Headphones are preferable, then a proper stereo setup (ie, left and right speakers forming an equilateral triangle with the head) with flat response monitors. Laptop/computer speakers are not desirous. The work is designed to be listened to as a whole, however track markers have been inserted for convenience. Some dreams are better than others.
R E V I E W S
AUTOMATING - SOMNABULIST (CDR by Second Language Records)
More music by one Sasha from Melbourne. The digital version of this is released by the netlabel Wood And Wire, while Sasha has a few copies of this on CDR with a handmade package on his own Second Language Records. "Originally conceived as a demonstrative show reel for various psychoacoustic techniques as a form of data delivery and an approach to a philosophical understanding of the world". About sleep states, hypnagogia, why we need to sleep and source material from field recordings, found sound, tape manipulation, noise and effects units. While it has been cut into eighteen tracks, with as many titles, it sounds like all of this music belongs together with all of these flowing straight into each other. While its not the same in some ways I am reminded of the older Hafler Trio most of the times, with some ambient textures, collaged voices and processed field recordings but all in a more rougher state. Like things recorded on dictaphones before being processed into shady loops and slowed down voices. Maybe alike 'A Thirsty Fish'. Maybe it's because the Hafler Trio came up in conversation a few times last week. From the three releases I heard by them so far, I thought this was by far their best release. An excellent example of raw musique concrete, philosophical thought and fine execution through minimal means. (FdW)
- Vital Weekly
In some ways Automating’s effort Somnambulist is the most ambitious of this incredibly ambitious brace of releases. Comprised of 18 tracks that investigate the stasis and psyche of sleep-states, hypnagogia and hypnopompia via field recordings, found sound, tape manipulation, noise and effects units, the end result of Somnambulist is the interior score to a technologically-obsessed paranoiac (there’s that word again…). I honestly found myself going a little crazy whilst listening to it, it invades the skull so completely. This, combined with vivid imagery due to the inventive use of the field recordings, paints a garish vista of modern societal nightmares akin to Todd Haynes’ Safe or Darren Aronofsky’s Pi. Even Lost Highway plagued my mind. Now I love these films, but I don’t want them fusing with my mind – God, I can see the Mystery Man’s eyes upon me! Seriously, this is an incredible trip. I'm not sure I’d recommend taking drugs whilst watching this one…
- Sonic Masala (sonicmasala.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/cant-hear-wire-for-wood-10-releases.html
‘Acoustic Decoding’ is a time-lapsed trip through chromatic, emphatically dodgy hyper-futurist smog. Your ship is weaving through a canopy of Emirates high-rises several centuries after Our Death. So what the hell are you doing there, in your ship? Nice stuff, anyway.
- Crawlspace (crawlspacemagazine.com/2012/10/09/listen-automating-acoustic-encoding/
Amazing Australian artist Automating (how’s that for alliteration) makes screechy industrial-tinged experimental music, mixed with murky strings and plenty of drone. They also release free albums. Somnambulist consists of 18 bits of avant-garde goodness specifically designed to tickle your primary auditory cortex. With track titles like “Alpha Wave” (there’s also Beta, Gamma, and Theta), “EEG Test,” and “Lucid Dreaming,” and appropriately mind-bending tunes to match, listening to this album is like getting your brain picked by the most expert of audiophiles — and it’s a blast.
- Tiny Mix Tapes (www.tinymixtapes.com/chocolate-grinder/listen-automating-somnambulist-album-stream