Volume Objects

Volume Objects

Label: 12k

Date: January 2008

Cat & Format: 12k1045 | CD & DD

Track listing:

  • 01. 9V Tree Battery
  • 02. Wire Cage For Tiny Birds
  • 03. Heated Dust On A Sunlit Window
  • 04. Broken Guitar, Discarded Violin
  • 05. To Human Form
  • 06. Ageless Visitor, Eroded Time
  • 07. Attached Softness To A Shell [C]
  • 08. (Before You Go) Curet Must Be Protected
  • 09. From A False Memory

In the desire to make recorded sound as tactile as possible Autistici (UK), recently featured on 12k’s Blueprints compilation (12k1039), has sculpted found objects, broken acoustic instruments, synthesizers and environmental recordings into Volume Objects. Expertly realized and designed, Volume Objects is loose and organic and demands careful listening. Melody and form are hinted at and then in a whisper, a crackle, are gone. A sense of narrative and place created as if a hundred tiny objects are scattered in front of you, a fractured story that you thought you once remembered.

The packaging for this release includes an 8-page booklet of black & white photography by Taylor Deupree inspired by the music and titles of the audio pieces. All printed materials in this package have been printed on 100% recycled paper.

Autistici creates audio narratives aimed at exploring the interchange between sound and space. Space in this context also includes the space within the listener’s head. In this realm reflection and fantasy recontextualise the sound according to the listener’s inner world. Autistici’s work incorporates a wide range of sources including textural sound design, orchestration, space and fragments of found sound or field recordings. Tracks focus on representing details from both the natural and man made world. Each detail has the potential to be preserved or lost, clarified or confused. This means that any audio element, including elements from his own body become incorporated into the composition. This fascination on the interplay between inner and outer world embodies Autistici’s sound. There is an intimate, intense and enmeshed sense of connection with tiny details (e.g., dust on vinyl, a door opening, heart beats, breathing, snoring). Autistici has released tracks on 12k, Audiobulb Records, Hippocamp, Kikapu and Wandering Ear.

Image: Taylor Deupree

Mastering: 12k Mastering




12k state: "In the desire to make recorded sound as tactile as possible Autistici has sculpted found objects, broken acoustic instruments, synthesizers and environmental recordings into Volume Objects."

Autistici - David Newman, founder of Sheffield's excellent Audiobulb Records - crafts detailed audio landscapes comprising filigree melodies, fragmentary field recordings and sparse, tentative rhythms. Volume Objects, his first full release on 12k, evokes portraits of places crafted from a carefully curated palette of sound objects.

Across nine delicately constructed audio canvasses, Newman aligns invented and real sounds. Careful, painterly in approach, Newman creates sonic narratives of hesitant, yet undeniable beauty.

"Heated Dust On A Sunlit Window" opens with a bristling burst of static before melting into a serene melody underpinned by field recorded percussion, crafted into an ever-shifting ground. "Wire Cage For Tiny Birds" captivates for nine organic minutes, its melodies hovering, flickering, momentarily harnessed before evaporating into a growing soundscape only to re-emerge again.

Newman has a rarely equalled ability to draw together contrasting sounds, corralling them to coax new meanings through their juxtaposition and Volume Objects is a clear indication that his abilities extend far further than his role as curator of Audiobulb Records.

Packaged with an eight page booklet of understated black and white photography by Taylor Deupree, a visual counterpoint to Newman's audio, Volume Objects is itself a beautifully realised object, proof that physically packaged releases are still loaded with life.



Further pursuing the mellifluous electroacoustic explorations that have characterised 12k's recent run (particularly the releases by Giuseppe Ielasi and Jodi Cave), Autistici take sounds from instrumental and concrete sources, warping them into a beautifully organic whole, bristling with a vigorously abstract intensity whilst referencing an accessible harmonic awareness at every turn. From the deeply resonant, microsonic drones of "9V Tree Battery" to the very literally titled "Broken Guitar, Discarded Violin" a great breadth of material is covered over the course of this album, with the latter stages dabbling with some subtle beat constructions (as on the ear-tickling, playful glitches of "Attaching Softness To A Shell [C]") and an acousmatic dissection of snoring (on "From A False Memory") which is slightly horrifying but constitutes another finely spun piece of sound design. As an accompaniment to the audio, label boss Taylor Deupree has contributed an eight-page booklet of photography, which nicely taps into some of the imagery suggested by the music. Lovely.



Calmscape have had the fortune to listen to a new album from Autistici titled Volume Objects recommended listening for fans craving minimalistic ambient filled with clicks'n'cuts and inspiring textured soundscapes.

The sound on offer here are refreshing, compared to the mainstream ambient concept as it is abstract enough to be keep the listener in focus while maintaining balance between abstractism and ambience - not sounding too abstract to ruin the pleasure of an ambient feel. Volume Objects is released from the 12k label.


Collective Zine

12k is a label I have come to obsessed with in the past 18 months, for pretty much everything they release is gold. Bar a few misfires and things that obviously don't interest me, I can safely purchase any release on this label and be pretty pleased with the result. This latest cd on the label, from Austici (UK), is mostly pleasing, although there are moments where it loses my attention.

Everything starts off very nicely, in the land of slumbering, drifting electronica - pleasant whirrs and clicks, with enough melodic interference to keep things honest. It's warm, lovely stuff that I will always appreciate, even if it does initially sound remarkably similar to any number of other releases I have picked up down the years on 12k and other assorted labels (I would whole heartedly recommend a Japanese label called Plop if you are interested in exploring the genre). Things wander off around track 4, "Broken Guitar, Distorted Violin", where a distracting violin enters the fray. And track 5 ventures slightly into noise territory, being a bit random as it is. "Ageless Visitor, Eroded Form" is also a touch abstract, with whoosh-y effects and alarming, almost submarine-esque pings crashing in. The ten minute long "Attaching Softness to a Shell [C]" reigns things back slightly, but retains the darker mood that the album started to creating, with disconcerting effects and samples mixed in. I think it was around this point that I realised I hadn't been listening close enough earlier on, there are all sorts of hidden sounds on this cd, and with this genre it is all too easy to stick the album on as background noise and not really get involved. Wear headphones and start paying attention, and it becomes a whole lot clearer.

I should also mention that the packaging, as with all 12k releases, is special - very nice black and white photography with an 8 page booklet to showcase it.


Ear Labs

Autistici‘s own précis of his work in general “Tiny Details - Abstract Ambience and Broken Space” informs a lot about his new CD release on the 12k label - Volume Objects. Coupled with the music inspired black and white cover art and accompanying eight-page booklet of black and white photographs by Taylor Deupree, Volume Objects is a beautiful audio story of “tiny details” culled from found sounds, acoustic instruments, field recordings, synthesizers, and space.

I’ve followed Autistici‘s online work for several years (Kikapu, Hippocamp, Stroem, TIBProd., Filament), and it’s actually no surprise to me that he is now releasing a full length album on such a well respected and prominent label as 12k. What I heard always amazed me. Those traces of melody and structure blended with noise and abstractness have been present from the beginning, but now I hear a more refined, a more focused, a more cogent Autistici. With Volume Objects you’ll hear a more melodious Autistici. His signature broken ambiances and textures of dissonance are never too far away, but there’s clearly a greater emphasis on composing more structured and harmonious pieces when compared with most of what I’ve heard before.

The release notes are right on the mark and condense the album to it’s essence in saying that: “Melody and form are hinted at and then in a whisper, a crackle, are gone. A sense of narrative and place created as if a hundred tiny objects are scattered in front of you, a fractured story that you thought you once remembered." I like that analogy. There’s definitely a story here, but the storyline is splintered, scattered, and ephemeral.

A full appreciation of Autistici‘s compositions calls for paying attention to the minutiae of details that he incorporates into each of them, ranging from captured organic sounds (found sounds, field recordings, somatic sounds, acoustic instrument samples) to synthetic tones and noises. The organic and synthetic and the melodic and unmusical vie against one another, competing for the listener’s attention, while, at the same time, joining together and forming an aural lattice of complementary textures.

Some highlights for me: "9V Tree Battery" and "Wire Cage for Tiny Birds" attest to Autistici‘s gentlest and most melodic moments, while "Attaching Softness to a Shell [C]" shows just how much beauty he can coax out of a just a few key ingredients. "Heated Dust on a Sunlit Window" blends warm, mellow tones with abstract textures such as fire-like pop and sizzle, the rapid-fire keystroke clicks-and-clacks of an old manual typewriter, and snappish wisps of noise like the crack of whip. Displaying less melody and more discord, "To Human Form" and the playful "From a False Memory" are key tracks. I’ll have to say that "Broken Guitar, Discarded Violin" is my personal favorite track. The initial sad, delicately resonating, guitar melody and harmonics punctuated with droning tones, percussive noises, and fragments of electronic noise brought a lump to my throat. The guitar disappears during the middle third, letting the abstract electronics tones and shreds of noise take the forefront, and two-thirds of the way through, a catchy, but less than harmonious, violin melody arrives accompanied by various clicks and typewriter-like sounds. This track which had such a musical and poignant beginning gradually slides into something completely opposite.

Autistici‘s beautiful, affecting sounds complemented with Taylor Deupree’s black-and-white, music-inspired photographs, place Volume Objects in my top ten list of releases for 2007.


Gaz Eta

Stillness of night.
Breaking of glass.
Strumming on guitar strings.
Gently sliding your fingers.

Snap, cackle and minute pop.
Reverse tape on repeat.
Humming of environment.
What's more, it tickles the brain.

Floating in mid air.
Nothing is moving and all is well.
You whispered something to me last night
But I can't recall the meaning or sense of it all.

If I could turn myself into an ear,
I'd prefer to listen to these Volume Objects
with an open mind.
As part-melodies come and then disappear.

One wonders where beauty begins and
ugliness ends.
Does an image of an abandoned shed
surrounded by snow mean much to you?

All I recall are the black and white photographs,
Gently wrecked by lack of memory and what came after.


Milk Factory

Autistici gives over his first full-length to the object - to its ruses and to its allure. It’s something evident in both the album and the photographs that accompany it. Shots of metallic wires and their sharp calm; woodboards and their comforting simplicity; even a granular wall, wrinkled like an aged face, betrays a mystery that cannot be exhumed. Never in any of this is there a subject to be found.

In the album, too, pieces aren’t driven by a compositional (subjective) sense. Autistici is concerned with tracing the line of sound itself, with letting it develop, fleshing it out by (re)approaching it time and again from weirdly skewed studio perspectives. Autistici ensures that the featured objects or source sounds are indeed of a spectral nature. The edges of each are smoothed down or frayed, and polished until they gleam in a way that makes them all sound strangely similar. "Wire Cage For Tiny Birds" features prickly whirlpools and a glassy shimmer that suggests rain falling in a moonlit sky, but then, in a stealthy manner, Autistici eclipses that presence with clouds of sweet cosmic static. It is these juxtapositions which manage to plant a sense of quietly astonishing incident within these works. There is a bracing astringency and definite economy of approach to the compositions, yet the fluid subtlety of construction either affords them a certain dramatic momentum or the ability to brim with richness.

Only on occasion does he seem to get lost in the labyrinth of his own project, the digital twists and cut-ups getting somewhat away from him. Otherwise these glitchscapes achieve a radiance of appearance, refracting sound sources into a mercurial flood, allusively suggesting form and structure, and maintaining just enough textural warmth and serendipitous, fleeting beauty to sustain the listener along the way.


Musique Machine

Volume Objects presents the listener with nine separate audio snap shots or sound paintings that mix together environmental recordings, minimalist electronica elements, ambience, subdued guitar and other instrumental elements.

For most of it’s near 45 minutes playing time it stays subtle, ambient and quite subdued in it’s execution- there nothing that jumps out at you here most of the tracks are really best described as slow shifting and quiet audio canvas. Though at the same time there’s often quite a deep weaves & maps of smaller sounds, tiny sonic details and harmonic touches to keep ones mind interested. I have to say I enjoyed the more defined rhythmic moments on display here -where jittering beat patterns are allowed to build up a constant skeletal structure over the ambient tides of melody and texture like on the wonderfully titled "Heated Dust On A Sunlit Window". Some of the tracks here seem a little too vague and unfocused for their own good- drifting from one element or texture to another in a rather woolly manner- but on the whole this is a rewarding enough release.

Though certainly not one of my favourite releasers on the 12k label who are renowned for their releasers that aptly mix of ambience, electrontica and organic elements together- it’s far from a complete failure with some very effective moments here & there.



Rarefied and abstract digital soundscapes, acoustic iterations ("Broken Guitar", "Discarded Violin") and bleeps come to us from David Newman, aka Autistici, for the 12k label directed by Taylor Deupree. Extremely sensitive constructions full of melody, crackle attitude and very contemporary styles, characterized by an almost narrative air, focusing on tiny details, halfway between natural and machinic imagery. It's a circular and embracing sound, made of complex textures and unusual orchestrations, which evolves along its nine tracks according to a measured continuum of audio elements, field recodings and omnipresent small improvisations. The atmospheres become alluring and crepuscular in the minimalist abuse of sound inserts, following oblique and glitchy paths, veined by more dream-like sequences and strong poetic jumps. A rather inspired and rarefied ambience, which isn't ruined at all by the experimental cut.


Signal To Noise

The interpretation of 'organic source materials' in an electronic framework seems to be a thematic for 12k's current run of releases. It appears a worthwhile investigation, as Autistici prove with their gracefully composed album of dejected melody, electronically sourced interruptions and found sound beds. Whilst electro-acoustic music has ventured to measure some more compositional or sound (im)balance relationships, Autistici seem more interested in testing for the edge of concentration in their listener and at what point you can snap the listeners attention into and out of focus. "Wire Cage For Tiny Birds" for example is a series of broken passages of tuneful sound linked through a series of connecting textures and process patterns. The piece is deeply musically, but at no point really resolves into what would be accessed as a clearly articulated 'musical' progression. It's within this hazy juxtaposition of sounds, musical fragments and field recordings that they stake their claim.

Works like "Broken Guitar, Discarded Violin", complete with earthing hum from the guitar scattering across the stereo field, offer an primitive quality - one that is constantly being attacked by the digital processes and cut-ups that mark out much of the actual shape of the piece. Again "Ageless Visitor, Eroded Time" create this same impression of sound objects caught in a clutter of musical expressions - sense is left up to the listener and their level of engagement, something welcomed wholeheartedly in an age of over-simplification and narrative binaries.


The Silent Ballet

How does one define an album? Case in point - Autistici's debut, Volume Objects. Yes, I could utilize generic terms like “experimental,” “minimal,” “subtle,” or even the nebulous “good” to describe the album, but these concepts have been stretched so loose that they don't fit any musical work anymore. In an age when bands that play what used to be defined as “hair metal” can define themselves as “ambient” with the click of a mouse, it is clear that these definitions do not serve their intended purpose and are of minimal use to the conscientious reviewer of a complex work of music. Negative definitions do not suffice, either. To say “Volume Objects is not pop-punk, nor is it shoegaze,” does nothing to inform the prospective listener as to what the album actually is, and a list of negatives that apply to any given work would be far too unwieldy for anyone to be able to use to its intended effect. Thus, it seems that I will have to take the long route to definition, and hopefully through analysis and abstraction we will arrive at a concise definition of at least this individual work of art.

One of the aforementioned “generic” terms may still serve as a useful starting point – properly defined, of course. “Subtlety” is a trait often discussed in music, but its meaning is always taken for granted, as if there is an ideal of musical subtlety that everyone understands univocally. If there is, I'm not aware of it, and so subtlety will be defined for the purposes of this review as “the placing of greater importance on the effect of (relatively) inaccessible or less-audible portions of the piece, as opposed to that of melody, form, and structure.” To clarify, this is not to say that melody, form, and structure are not important, but rather that they are less important than the aforementioned qualities when experiencing a “subtle” work of music. Does the album fit this description? A close listen to "Wire Cage for Tiny Birds" reveals that the work is indeed “subtle.” A melody is built up, then decays, leaving only the underlying sounds for the listener to grasp. A melody is soon built up from these fragments, and then this melody decays, leaving only the seemingly insignificant underlying fragments of the melody to continue the song once more. Autisici is demonstrating the essence of subtlety, here – what makes the song is everything that runs below the surface. Even such basic qualities as melody and form are subject to, and created from, the underlying, overlooked elements of the track. So we can define Volume Objects as exhibiting “subtlety.” It is a good start, but not quite enough to characterize the entire work, however.

Autistici's debut is also an incredibly sensual album. When I say sensual, I am not referring to the more commonly-used definition of “suggesting sexuality.” Rather, sensuality in Volume Objects relates directly to the senses, beyond the obvious auditory stimulation. Autistici is among the slowly growing number of artists that is intent on developing the tactile quality of music, focusing on the force of the sound made upon the listener's ears, in addition to the sound itself. "To Human Form" exemplifies this strategy, tactfully shifting additional resonance into the track by selecting sounds that often oppose each other in impact upon the listener's ear, powerfully contrasting to create a beautiful whole where one sound would be far too harsh, the other too delicate. In a bold move, Autistici also attempts to add visual stimulation to the album's experience as well, utilizing track titles like "9v Tree Battery" and "Heated Dust on Sunlit Window" to create mental images for the listener to interact with, and by packaging the album with photographs taken by Taylor Deupree that are based upon the aforementioned titles. Even the album's title, Volume Objects, implies sensation beyond the basic auditory experience offered by nearly all musicians. Autistici is making music using objects, and the visual/tactile properties of these objects are a part of the work just as much as the sounds that compose it.

“Space” is the final word I will use to help define Volume Objects. Autistici breathes this space into all of his compositions, allowing the tracks to be loose and conform not to a rigidly defined pattern, but to the mind of the listener. By leaving some space within the tracks empty, the definition required by most artists is lost. In this context, however, this space does not detract from the whole, but rather allows room for the listener to grab onto some of the more subtle elements of the tracks while still keeping the upper levels in focus. Though the amount of space given to the listener is large, and may tempt those less focused away from a close listen, Autistici's clever use of space affords those with more patience to see all of the little details that make each track work so wonderfully. "Broken Guitar, Discarded Violin" is a perfect example of this trait in action (or, perhaps more precisely, inaction). The track's arrangement is sparse, allowing each element to show itself, if subtly, and when the titular discarded violin comes into play, the close listener is rewarded with a powerful sense of fulfillment.

Now we can define Volume Objects satisfactorily. The album is a subtle exploration of various forms of sensual impression that utilizes space as a means to involve the listener in the creation of meaning within the pieces, as well as providing a means of access to the subtle within the context of the album. It is an experience that is never tiresome, never dull, and offers untold rewards to anyone who will give it a few moments of their time. There are very few albums that merit such a long, arduous definition process as this one – that alone should show just how special this experience is. Let less deserving artists be pigeonholed into ill-fitting categories, be described in awkward comparisons. To ignore this album would be to do yourself a great disservice, a crime against your musical imagination. Autistici has created a masterpiece of experimental expression, of interaction between listener and artist, and of the interaction between differing forms of art. The greatest art doesn't defy definition, rather, it cries out to be clearly and imaginatively defined. -Zach Mills



Autistici's Volume Objects is a near-perfect exemplar of the found-sound sculpting aesthetic. What makes the recording so satisfying is that David Newman (aka Autistici as well as manager of the Audiobulb imprint) uses sonic textures and field recordings in the service of a thoroughly worked-through compositional design. Sounds are not used recklessly or indulgently but instead arranged to form intimate sound spaces that invite reflection. The tactile dimension is strongly evident—something track titles such as "Wire Cage for Tiny Birds" and "Broken Guitar, Discarded Violin" strongly reinforce—but they're merely starting points, not ends in themselves. The sounds of innumerable minute phenomena—dust on a window, a door opening, bodily noises—are transformed radically to simulate the clack of a typewriter's keys and gamelan tinkles. Though many of the nine “audio narratives” opt for ambient stillness, Autistici isn't afraid to shake things up: "Broken Guitar, Discarded Violin" flirts with conventional musical territory by pairing the rough saw of a violin with the pluck of a damaged guitar, while parts of "To Human Form" could pass for avant-techno of an admittedly heavily abstracted, electro-acoustic type. Elsewhere, Newman strikes an admirable balance between structure and looseness; the material clearly reflects the imprint of the arranger's hand yet also unfurls in loose and organic manner. The textural detail alone is captivating: in "Ageless Visitor, Eroded Time," swooshing noises, cannonading ruptures, and ambient tones swirl within a soft stream of static particles; and in "Attaching Softness to a Shell [C]," a descending synthesizer motif induces entrancement alongside the whispered chatter of insectile organisms. Throughout the album, the listener surrenders to the seductive pull of the rich flow of detail and texture. An eight-page booklet displaying achromatic photographs inspired by the track titles and taken by Taylor Deupree nicely enhances the release too.



Noises from afar heard through a door left ajar: An accessible model of music as sculpting.

It is often said that 80% of a message is processed by the eyes. No wonder, then, that more and more sound artists are trying to approach the visual arts with their music. Autistici, too, talks about his approach to composing as "sculpting" and the title of this album already provides listeners with first clues as to the threedimensional nature of its audio content. Others have gone this way before. While Norbert Möslang's drastic data vision Header_Change on Jason Kahn's Cut label sought for resolution in the abstract hallways of binary code, though, Volume Objects may well represent a more accessible and intuitive model.

Having said all this, it comes as a bit of a surprise to find out that up until last year, Autistici did not even have a single physical release to his credit and had instead turned into an integral part of the netlabel community. Volume Objects now comes both as a result of changes within that scene, which have lead the UK-based composer to conclude that finding high-quality material on the web is getting increasingly difficult and that there are unique benefits to a tangible medium.

Speaking more concretely, the CD is accompanied by a booklet containing black and white photography inspired by the music, courtesy of 12k label boss Taylor Deupree. The cross-sensory implications of Autistici's music are therefore mirrored by its truly multi-medial packaging.

These images are causing cross-complications and making the appreciation of Volume Objects simultaneously more difficult and more rewarding. Deupree has shot a series of pictures all occuppied with space, entities within that space and the importance of the spectator's relative angle: He finds peace in cold metallic wires, aesthetical clarity in fields of askew guitar pegs, comforting curvatures in simple and straight woodboards and entire life stories in a tiny fragment of granular wall structure. The connection to the music is, however, not an easy or obvious one. Quite often, one finds dissonance instead of an immediate harmonious symbiosis.

The reasons can be found directly in the way that Autistici builds his pieces. His work is marked by a constant desire to change and to permutate. In a recent interview with earlabs, he spoke of refining tracks until "the original obsessive element (i.e. the one which sparked the compositional process) has been thoroughly examined from different angles" and that is exactly how Volume Objects works: Pieces evolve along the lines of sound itself, instead of succumbing to external factors of arrangement. This evolution can be guided by juxtapositions, which seek for understanding through contextual shifts. Or it can be driven by gradual manipulation of the source material.

While the former finds its climax in two short pieces in the opening half of the album ("Heated Dust on a sunlit Window" and "Broken Guitar, Discarded Violin"), the latter is brought to perfection in the two long tracks framing Volume Objects as if it were a precious painting. "Wire Cage for Tiny Birds" opens with summerly string pluckings, fades out into the underlying field recording, then begins anew with the motives smoothened to a soft cloud of harmonics.

"Attaching Softness to a Shell (C)", in turn, focusses the listener's complete attention on a musical necklace of tones. Like someone playing "Snake" on his cellphone, Autistici keeps adding notes to the loop, slowing all movement down, then builds momentum again by shortening the cycle.

Transformation is one part of the album's formula, a sense of rhythm and surprisingly concrete percussive patterns another. But what truly provides the mind with visual cues is the fact that Autistici never reveals the origins of his sounds. As a listener, you constantly find yourself feeling that this howling or that screaking seems familar, without ever really being able to put your finger on it. Volume Objects is a world of words only spelt out in half, of truths and terms on the tip of your tongue, of noises from afar heard through a door left ajar.

It is these unfinished stimuli which force the brain to actively make up the rest. Deupree's photos confront one's own creative mind with the endresult of the same process of someone else. Anyone who first read Lord of the Rings and then went on to watch the movie knows this can feel akward at first.

That, however, does not render them useless. Not only are they works of art on their own right, but they serve as perfect reminders of how inspiring on a highly personal level Autistici's solo debut in the physical world has turned out to be. - By Tobias Fischer


Touching Extremes

It's getting increasingly difficult to come up with something genuinely new in the area where Autistici is stepping. Over the course of nine tracks, we're shown different facets of this sonic painter's aesthetic, whose style has more to do with the peculiar placing of a series of acoustic events than a real compositional concept. The adjective "tactile", referred to the recorded sounds on the press release seems pretty coherent to what I perceived in the disc. True, there are several of the genre's trademarks (delicately ringing bell tones, whispered gentleness, extremely simple guitar arpeggios broken by electric discharges) but are we really sure that one still needs to hear the damaged vinyl effect in a record after all these years? Fortunately, the artist is intelligent enough to displace some of these obvious presences with a rather concrete view of things, which include casual sources such as a motorbike, or someone snoring (!), thus adding a most welcome human element to a patchwork that otherwise might result in yet another "imperfectly perfect", cracked-glass framed photograph of already visited territories. At the end of the day, Volume Objects can be considered instead as a collection of vignettes somehow modified by a child's crayon into scribbled figures that, although not beautiful, possess now a few characteristics and slight deformations that attract our curiosity more than before.


Vital Weekly

In Vital Weekly 550 we reviewed Blueprints a compilation by 12k, introducing a fine bunch of musicians, who all were supposed to have forthcoming releases on 12k. Several have been done already and here is Autistici from the UK. He has released before on Audiobulb, Hippocamp, Kikapu and Wandering Ear (the latter three are completely new to me). I described his pieces in Blueprints as "spacious ambient sounds", but nothing else, so probably I didn't noted it more than just that. For Volume Objects he creates music with objects, I think. These are hand held, touched, scraped, smashed and loved: I am not entirely sure. But it deems to me that the sounds are sampled and treated on the computer to create this warm, glitchy music. Nice stuff I think, but also quite normal. Too poppy to be serious musique concrete, because of the brevity of the pieces and the looped character of the sounds, and also in the areas of microsound this is hardly unheard stuff. Taken that not all the pieces could bother me that much, and the result is a pretty average release. Not good, and certainly not bad, but not one that easily remembers for its quality.


The Wire

UK sound designer and composer Autistici hooked up with 12k's Richard Chartier at a concert in Sheffield. His fascination with the priciniple of Ambient is such that he claims to have a hard job in sustaining his concentration during conversations, distracted as he is by the circumambient sounds of air conditioners, passing planes, the hum of striplights. The Chartier connection is evident in Volume Objects, as is the influence of Taylor Deupree, to whom he also listens, but this is no pallid derivative. Each track is accompanied by a photograph, containing some seemingly inconsequential landscape detail - a fence, the close-up of the pebbledash texture of a wall - which function as visual aids or springboards for further imagistic speculation. What's great about Volume Objects is the interplay of the tiniest of sound particles, dancing like atoms amid the field recordings which provide much of the feed in the mix.


Blow Up

Dopo aver girovagato nell’ultimo lustro tra netlabels e realtà discografiche più o meno sommerse, David Newman, musicista e sound designer di base a Sheffield approda alla 12k di Taylor Deupree, confezionando un lavoro che non delude affatto le aspettative di quanti avevano seguito da lontano negli anni scorsi le evoluzioni e il meticoloso lavoro messo in essere dall’autore. Volume Objects forse concede di più al sostrato melodico rispetto alle precedenti prove, ma in ogni caso conferma la straordinaria attenzione dell’autore ai dettagli impercettibili del suono, quelli riservati esclusivamente agli adepti dell’ascolto in cuffia, che spalancano le porte di un mondo fatto di sottili alterazioni acustiche, flussi nascosti ed impercettibili distorsioni. Un mondo irreale ed immobile, metafisico e fuori dal tempo, nel quale emergono suoni di corde decomposti, vecchi giradischi impolverati ed un campionario crepuscolare di tonalità che si fondono nello spazio della cornice digitale. Piccole novelle per suoni persi e ritrovati, strumenti acustici, registrazioni d’ambiente, sintetizzatori, memorie e luoghi dimenticati. "9V Tree Battery" e "Wire Cage for Tiny Birds" sono due saggi minimi di levità e grazia, di labor limae sulle componenti melodiche; "Attaching Softness to a Shell" una miniatura esile che riluce nella semplicità di poche linee toniche; "Heated Dust on a Sunlit Window" una soffusa combinazione di texture astratte e tiepidi clicks; "Broken Guitar, Discarded Violin" l’alternanza di due strati, quello dissonante composto da violino e chitarra e quello dronico impastato di note rumoristiche, sghembi accenni stridenti e ticchettii.

Volume Objects è un affresco lirico che narra della segreta forza del suono nascosta negli oggetti, delle vibrazioni che essi riescono a disegnare nello spazio e di un’estetica che verrà.

Captare l’invisibile.



Pour son premier album aprés quelques sorties en MP3 sur des netlabels (Kikapu. TIBprod et Hippocamp, tous hautement recommandés), l'Anglais Autistici poursuit son exploration des rapports entre microsocme et macrocosme, entre sons trouvés et générés, entre la narration documentaire et l'invention du compositeur. Un territoire où les sons synthétiques se fondent discretement dans des enregistrements d'instruments acoustiques cassés (guitare, violon) et dans des field recordings capturant les moments le plus triviax de l'existence, l'ouverture d'une porte, un battement de coeur, de la poussiere sur un vinyle, un ronflement devenant ici des outils au service d'histoires microscopiques (superbement illustrés dans le livret par des photos noir et blanc de Taylor Deupree), d'instant, de visions toutes simples, telles qu'une cage à oisequx, de la poussiere sur une fenetre baignée de soleil, un amas de neige fondant lentement. A cent lieues des disques d'électronique abstraite et distanciée, Volume Objects est au contraire au ras du corps, de la peau, du souffle, comme un microscope captant à la fois la texture, le gout, et le tems qui passe. Magnifique! - Jean-Francois Micard.



En matiere d'electronica, l'Anglias Autistici pourrait bien faire figure de cas particulier. En effet, sa démarche consiste a créer dans ses enregistrements le son le plus palpable possible. Il concoit ainsi ses sculptures sonores a partir d'objets trouvés, d'instruments acoustiques cassés, de sons enreistrés en extérieur et des synthétiseurs. Les mélodies se concentrent alors dans le creux d'un soufle, l'essence d'un craquement. L'homme a une conscience particuliere du minuscule et il faut etre attentif pour saisir toutes le variations, les richesses de textures, les transformations, les déformations qui s'operent au long de ces plages qui regroupent ainsi des centaines de micro-organismes en mouvement. Une narration auditive que Taylor Deupree a pris le temps d'illustrer de huit photographies liées a chacune de ces créations. Un moment de saine exploration de cet espace entre le son et la metiere.... Recherche de l'équilibre juste entre ce qui est récolté et la création pure. L'imaginaire peut alors entrer en action et toucher cette musique.



Présent sur plusieurs compilations dont on a pu rendre compte dans ces pages, Autistici passe à l'étape du long-format avec cet album paraissant sur 12k, structure particulièrement idoine pour l'electronica minimaliste de l'Anglais.

On avait déjà pu saluer les caractéristiques de la musique du Britannique: belle luminosité des sonorités, dépouillement spectral des arrangements et apport non négligeable de la réverbération. Ces qualités sont une nouvelle fois développées ici, dans des morceaux où des bribes mélodiques perlées ("Wire Cage For Tiny Birds", "Attaching Softness To A Shell [C]") sont délicatement posées sur une texture plus complexe typique du label new-yorkais (glitchs, grésillements, cut-ups). À cette musique gracieuse et inspirée est ajouté un livret de photographies en noir et blanc de Taylor Deupree; arty et évocateurs, renvoyant à une solitude certaine (pas un être vivant n'est représenté) et aux compositions parfaitement ouvragées d'Autistici (importance des lignes et câbles), les clichés du photographe agissent comme une illustration idéale de Volume Objects.

Sur le plan musical, alors qu'on commençait à redouter un peu l'écoute de ce qui aurait pu être un énième "disque 12k", on est ravi de constater que l'Anglais peut se départir de cette grammaire plutôt classique pour s'orienter vers des terrains dans lesquels l'accent est davantage mis sur le travail rythmique ("Heated Dust On A Sunlit Window") ou sur l'intégration de boucles mélodiques concassées et de souffles anxiogènes ("To Human Form"). On obtient alors un album riche et varié, belle confirmation des promesses entrevues jusqu'alors. 7/8 - François Bousquet


Free Music

Staré pravidlo říká, že nejlepší obranou je útok. Jak se ale z pozice hudebníka ubránit přemíře hluku, který nás čím dál tím víc obklopuje? Recept může být pověsit hudební kariéru na hřebík a utéct do hlubokých hvozdů daleko od hlomozící civilizace. Nebo do lesů utéct s nahrávacím zařízením, ticho vzít za spoluhráče a společně vytvářet hudební variantu tzv. „bílého hluku“. Prostě po enovském způsobu příjemnou hudbou překrýt hluk okolí. Britský zvukový malíř Autistici jde tímto směrem, leč nečekejme od něho žádný přeslazený muzak, nýbrž dohromady s maximálním množstvím přirozených zvuků přírody, lidského konání, hrstkou útržků tónů akustických nástrojů, drobné ambientní i glitchové elektroniky vytváří hudební ukolébavky nového a nutno podotknout alternativního stylu.

Po sbírání ostruh na netlabelech Audiobulb, Kikapu a Hippocamp přišla konečně CDčková šance. Navíc šéf 12k přilnul k připravovanému albu Autistici takovým způsobem, že nechal debut Volume Objects opatřit plně recyklovaným papírovým digipackem, který navíc vyšperkoval vlastnoručními černobílými fotografiemi. Co skladba, to jeden obrázek.

Je pravdou, že elektroakustická mise, na níž se kolážující Autistici vydal není na dnešní alternativní scéně ničím extra výjimečným. Pomyslnou červenou nitku vedeme od On Land Briana Ena přes noční výlety magalopolis Namlooka a Inoue, niterné instalace Steve Rodena, permafrostem zamrzlá taneční dobrodružství Vladislava Delaye až k současníkům na labelech Baskaru, Anticipate nebo Ahornfelder. Volume Objects je příjemná deska, v rámci předem daných mantinelů maximálně variabilní a zvukově „chytlavá“. Teda alespoň pro ty, kteří se nebojí naslouchat hraní s tichem. - 70 %



Lyd som materialitet. Lyd som en åbning mod verden eller en verden i sig selv. Lyd som erfaringens rum eller rummets erfaring. Lyd som sansningens genkendelse eller genkendelsens sansning. Lyd som det allerede foreliggende eller det foreliggendes forvandling. Lyd som det humane eller posthumane. Lyd som et rent landskab eller landskabets lyd. Lyd som gentagelse gentaget gentagelse gentaget gentagelse gentaget gentagelse gentaget gentagelsens gentagelse gentaget. Lyd som et ekko af naturen eller naturens ekko. Lyd som den rene fortolkning eller fortolkningen uden ord?

Fortolkningen af lyd er mangfoldig, og de bedste kunstnere skaber deres egen lyd. Pladeselskaberne 12k og Baskaru er kendt for den æstetiske perfektion, hvormed deres kunstnere former lyden i værker, der kan opleves som en særegen verden. Hos 12k er der især vægt på de organiske og genkendelige kilders forvandling, som man kender det hos et andet sublimt selskab, Touch, hvorimod det hos Baskaru mere er lyden i dens postorganiske form, der dyrkes.

Autistici kan siges at være en typisk 12k-kunstner. Med værket Volume Objects, der akkompagneres af et smukt hæfte med fotos (naturligvis trykt på økologisk papir!), er der lagt op til en interaktion mellem en verden i dens affotograferede form og i dens lydlige udformning. Hos Autistici korresponderer lyd og billede med hinanden, hvilket understreges af, at hvert foto svarer til et lydspor på albummet. For eksempel ledsages nummeret "Ageless Visitor, Eroded Time" af et foto af et halvforfaldent hus i et snedækket landskab. De medfølgende fotos er med til at understrege den paradoksale stemning af nærvær og fravær, der præger albummet. Huset er tomt og ikke-beboeligt og alligevel udstråler det et poetisk nærvær. Billede såvel som lyd har, hvad den tyske filosof og litteraturkritiker, Walter Benjamin, kaldte aura. Aura som historiens (tidens) tilknytning til et æstetisk objekt oplevet af en beskuer (eller tilhører). Autisticis lydverden er på én gang beboelig og ikke-beboelig. Titlen på værket er faktisk den bedste illustration af den kunstneriske poetik: lydobjekter (Volume Objekts). Som lytter får man lov til at vandre rundt mellem disse "objekter", der ikke er ready-mades, men derimod konstruerede kunstneriske objekter, der tager udgangspunkt i og forvandler et forhåndenværende materiale: analoge kilder, menneskestemmer, natur, en knallert, der kører forbi. Alt kan bruges i Autisticis verden, hvor det først og fremmest er den taktile fornemmelse, der dyrkes.

Autistici, Savvas Ysatis + Taylor Deupree og m.b. + e.d.a. udforsker lyden i alle dens aspekter. Det er en luksus med pladeselskaber som 12k og Baskaru, der opdyrker helt nye verdener for den nysgerrige lytter. Lyd kan heldigvis ikke sættes på formel, men den kan blive til et (kunst)værk i de rigtige hænder og alle tre nærværende udgivelser er eksempler på en sådan succesfuld lydlig assimilation.


Go Mag

Ambient. Cumpliendo aquella promesa de publica en formato largo a todos los artistas que desubrio con el recopilatorio Blueprints, Taylor Deupree da ahora la alternativa al misterioso Autistici, un inglesito que gusta por igual de la musica concreta y de ese ambient de grano grueso y espacios abiertos que es marca del sello neoyorquino. Volume Objects contiene una decena de piezas cuyo punto de partida esta en la captura de sonidos fabricados con objetos cotidianos (de ahi el ingenioso titulo del disco), sonidos que se amasan, disgregan y vuelven a unir, portatil mediante, hasta producir ambientes espesos y llenos de grumos en los que no es raro adivinar algun breve destello de luminosidad. El unico problema, en realidad, es que resulta dificil encontrar algun rasgo de personalidad propia en el interior de estas delicadas y bonitas piezas. Y no es que Autistici no haga bien su trabajo; todo lo contrario: Volume Objects es un ejemplo de detallismo y paciencia, es solo que parece haber creado este disco para hacer feliz a su jefe. Y para eso, miren, ya tenemos al propio Deupree, que lo hace much mejor. - Vidal Romero



Es ist ein Schweben und ein Pflücken als ein bodenständiges Musizieren, was die Musk des Briten Autistici auf Volume Objects ansprechend beschreibt. Etliche kleinteilige Geräusche scheinen durch die Lüfte zu schweben, von Autistici irgendwo aufgenommen, aneinandergereiht und mit Fragmenten von realen Instrumenten ergänzt. Das flirrt ganz leicht durch die Luft, ganz leise, ganz vorsichtig - und kommt in lauten Umgebungen überhaupt nicht zur Geltung. Hier ein Klicken, das an Anschläge alter Schreibmaschinen erinnert, durch ein Kratzen, ein Schaben wie von Schuhen auf hartem Untergrund. Und alles bekommt ganz viel Zeit, um erfasst zu werden, zu einem Setting beizutragen, das aber nur in Ansätzen wirklich in Melodien übergeht. Sobald man einer solchen wie einem verwunschenen Wesen habhaft geworden ist, ist sie auch schon wieder verschunden, auf seltsame Weise, so dass man sich fragt, ob man das wirklich gerade gehört hat und wie das wohl zustande gekommen ist. Oder um es mit dem Titel eines Stücks auf dieser schönen, kleinen Platte zu sagen: "From a False Memory." Die Schwarz-Weiß-Fotos von Taylor Deupree im Booklet tragen ihren Teil zu diesem Eindruck bei, wirken ebenso wie kaum vom dieser Welt, obwohl sie nichts Unbekanntes zeigen. Sehr schön aber.


Rif Raf

Autistici excelleert in preciseiewerk. Spreek gerust van audio narratives: zorgvuldig uitgesponnen audioverhalen met een textuur waarin je verzwolgen wordt. Geniet van de subtiele crackles of van de ijzingwekkend traag transformerende elektronische lagen in "Wired Cage For Tiny Birds". De elektroakoestische puzzel "Heated Dust On A Sunlit Window" is onze favoriet: een verfijnd spel tussen huisgeluiden en elektronische prikken. Delicaat en delicieus.



Sebbene l'intenso rapporto fra immagine e suono, landscape e musica, paesaggi urbani ed esplorazione uditiva sia cosi abituale da non potersi intendere come fondamento di un lavoro discografico, bisogna ammettere che il concept di Volume Objects mostri dei risultati obiettivamente appaganti. Le nove tracce pubblicate dall'artista britannico su 12k si reggono su delicatissimi equilibri di minimalismo elettroacoustico, in cui beat, click e disturbi si rimescolano in un'interazione melliflua e affascinante. A completare il progetto troviamo anche un booklet con otto fotografie in bianco e nero firmate da Taylor Deupree (boss della label), un ulteriore documento visivo che esplicita le vibrazioni sonore contenute in istantanea apparentemente statiche.



Autistik hat sich ja mittlerweile in der Mitte der Gesellschaft als Schimpfwort eingenistet, dabei hören Autisten nicht etwa nichts, sondern haben vor allem ihre sehr eigene und spezifische Wahrnehmung. Erneut ebenso hochwertiges wie interessantes Audio auf 12k: das UK-Projekt lotet den Zusammenhang von Klang und Raum auf eine äußerst diffizile und detailreiche Weise aus. Die Geschichten aus gefundenen, selbsthergestellten und Field-Klängen enthalten Teile und Zusammenhänge, bei denen wir genau hinhören sollten, sonst entgeht uns womöglich Wesentliches. Eine wunderbare Schule des Hörens und der kleinen Teile, kongenial illustriert und interpretiert durch Fotos von Taylor Deupree. Ganz groß.



Experimental Taylor Deupree tomó el camino hacia la disonancia y la intensidad en 1am. Apartándose de los masajeantes digitalismos que predominaban en sus álbumes inmediatarnente anteriores, el neoyorquino dejaba claro que no se había encasillado como ambientalista. Parecen tomar ejemplo ahora Autistici y Giuseppe Ielasi, los dos últimos fichajes de 12k, el sello de Deupree. Concreto y orgánico el primero, drónico y pixelado el segundo, ambos dejan de lado los peligrosos aromas de incienso que a menudo emanan de este tipo de propuestas y firman trabajos que brillan por su originalidad y formas arriesgadas. Cada uno con sus propios procedimientos, estos recién llegados evitan los lugares comunes del sonido laptopista en busca de nuevas sintaxis para la música hecha con ordenador. ARNAU HORTA