Autosomal – Beyond (None)

Autosomal - Beyond

It is hard to tell, but I think I’m looking at a Rorschach blot test. If so, the answer is penises… or the album artwork for Autosomal’s Beyond. I wonder what that says about my psychological status?

Artist: Autosomal
Title: Beyond
Label: None
Cat#: None
Keywords: Ambient, IDM, Industrial, Psychedelic
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

This release is by Autosomal, a project between two people, Sacred Chao and L.S. (Laetitia Schteinberg) which will be my 7th review tonight of music from the latter artist. Her story and a petition you can sign are at this link, which details the situation she is going through right now. This is very important to us, as she is a well respected and immensely talented musician and photographer who we very much wish will be allowed to continue producing such wonderful (and free!) art while seeking asylum in Sweden from Russia, a country that is currently devaluing those among it’s populace who are in the LGBT community, subjecting them to inhumane treatment and often driving them to suicide. This is unacceptable. As of the second I write this, we’ve broken 1,000 signatures, and it would be awesome to get even more… I don’t really know how many are needed, but this issue is important and I hope you will help. I’ve done so many reviews in such a short span of time that I almost feel like I know this artist’s sound to a minute degree at this point… maybe I should start a fanclub? At any rate, and if nothing else, I hope Laetitia at least enjoys reading all of this stuff about her music! There will hopefully be much more she will make that we can continue to review in the years to come. I’m still very optimistic that the Swedish Migration Board will do the correct thing and refuse to deport her to a homophobic state.

‘The Sum Of Us All’ is the first piece of music, beginning with a deep, synth bass thrum. Soundscapes surround us, and then enters a very nice melodic sequence. Oooh!!! Loving that bassline. Just when I think I’ve got it all figured out, I’m thrown for a loop… by a loop, or sequence if you prefer. This is kind of funky, synthetic electro/IDM, ensconced in lovely atmospheres. The rhythms are very cool, the music shifts relatively frequently, and becomes very ambient again for a moment. I hear an… almost aboriginal, tribal soundscape unfold into the mix. Urgent bells… it’s like an abstract soundtrack, very hard to describe but thoroughly enjoyable! Extremely transcendental, transmusical. Electro/industrial rhythms and sound effects swell upwards, and then we are left with the mystic bells and rumbling, diffuse bass.

‘No Future (For The Next Generation)’ sounds like abstract funk mixed with tribal eclecticism. Behind the aggressively disjointed rhythms, electric bass and other wild sounds we can hear the dreamy, floating ambient textures. Over this, bells come in, a bit offtuned from the backgrounds. After an epic reverse cymbal we go into a slamming, intense beatscape, tightly and manically programmed! Wow! Acoustic noises ring out, reverberate in a room almost like methodical concrete. The choirs return, as do the lullaby bells.

‘Chateau’… eau… eau… that was an echeau, in sleau-meau. A dirge of low, cavernous sounds creep out from the darkness. An industrial groove comes in gradually, and I’m really loving how the rhythms change up. A bass guitar type sound, some tape pops, bells like as if someone were shooting a horror movie in the mix, dark string arrangements… then an explosion and we head into a really awesome groove, like thick IDM, or just really stiff, stuttering dub.

I feel strangely like hopping into a bathtub at the outset of ‘Heather Reconstruction’, which features Archie Drum. It has a bubbling, naive, somewhat tribal feel… the beats sound promising, and then the ambient synth chords… so nice… like cybernoir. Equal parts groovy upbeat IDM and sensuality. Just some rims and ripping sound effects with lovely ambient underworks for a bit, and then the rhythms bang out again, like a brainfunk. This is some intense music! Piano melodies, minimal, ring out in space.

‘This Journey Will Be Eternal…’ is the final track. It begins in a thunderstorm, as someone exits a car, walks for a bit, opens a door, comes in, sits down, opens a canned beverage and begins typing… it is here that ominous white noise sets in, and an alarm sounds. The mysterious person gets up, walks elsewhere, is shot maybe by someone else, who is now walking around… it’s difficult to say. I hear digitized chime tones, a strong wind, a music box. Then piano, sounding tiny, as if played through an old speaker. I hear a toy xylophone I think, some radio voices running backward, crackles, a bit of bass very low in the mix. Something slams down hard, violins. Softly, ambient string textures surge forward in the mix, deep whispers. Very nice!!!

This was a sonically varied album, often pummeling, hypnotic and bewildering at once, not to mention the final piece which felt as if I were listening to something pulled straight out of a film! I believe very strongly that you will enjoy it as much as I did. As for me, I am now sending rays of cosmic love to Laetitia… and to you, dear reader, I send a link. You can also have some of the rays of cosmic love if you wish, I’m transmitting them via satellite relay straight from the sun itself, so it will be several billion more years before that’s depleted. In other words, plenty to go around. Take care! 😉

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