Wednesday, May 02, 2007

ANTIGUO AUTOMATA MEXICANO: Kraut Slut (Static Discos)

ANTIGUO AUTOMATA MEXICANO
Kraut Slut
STA019
Static Discos 2007
10 Tracks. 57mins37secs




Buy it: CD
Antiguo Autómata Mexicano | Static Discos

Hailing from Monterrey in North-East Mexico, Angel Sánchez Borges has been an active member of the underground Mexican scene for over fifteen years, releasing music under a variety of guises, but he only emerged on the international scene a couple of years ago when he released his first album as Antiguo Autómata Mexicano, Microhate, on Düsseldorf-based imprint Background Records. With his latest, song-based, project, Seekers Who Are Lovers, Sánchez revisits the work of The Velvet Underground and Will Oldham.

With this first release for Tijuana’s Static Discos, original home of Murcof and Fax, Sánchez returns to the refined minimal techno of AAM. With Microhate, Sánchez explored a series of organic spaces built around minimal grooves, intricate sound formations and vast ambient soundscapes. Kraut Slut continues on a similar path, but here Sánchez relies on slightly more straightforward track structure, driving beats and clean-cut atmospheric soundscapes, reminiscent of Mille Plateaux or Komplott, yet he retains some of the abstract angles of his debut.

Album opener Rother, Dinger, You And Me and Mille which follows, set the tone. While the former evolves imperceptibly from a linear beat and rarefied electronics into a more elaborate piece of techno, the latter is a much richer slice of progressive dance music, which, after a rather introvert intro, slowly gathers pace as Sánchez applies more layers. Reflect Ella, All Styl and Co Opt follow similar paths, each track progressively developing from just a handful of components into crystalline formations. On Malandre De Culto, Sánchez drops a subtle melody over a soft aquatic groove, while, on the sombre Extirpe and twisted dub of Ham & Jazz, he toys with much more introspective ambient soundscapes, echoing the vast textural accents of Microhate. The album concludes with remixes of Mille (Kampion) and Co-Opt (J. A. Berricochea). While Kampion offers quite a radical rereading of the original, slowing it down drastically and softening its edges, Berricochea exposes the atmospheric hues of Sánchez’s version and deploys them as sumptuous electronic drapes.

While it may be regrettable that Sánchez hasn’t explored further the raw organic ambient and cinematic soundscapes that characterised his first album, his take on minimal techno proves very enjoyable and masterful. His beats are sharp, his grooves relentless and his sounds clean cut, with delicate melodies flourishing unexpectedly, making Kraut Slut an effortlessly classy piece of work.

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