Sunday, 22 March 2009

R-N094: Automne Fold - Kangding Ray

Raster-Noton are proud to announce the re-release of Berlin based Kangding Ray’s critically acclaimed 2008 release “Automne Fold” with brand new, re-imagined artwork.

Automne Fold (which means "Fall Fold") is the follow up to 2006’s highly successful debut album “Stabil” from experimental electro pioneer David Letellier, aka Kangding Ray. In keeping with the stripped down sounds commonly associated with Raster-Noton releases, Automne Fold is a consistently, deeply atmospheric amalgamation of samples, reverb and echo, fused together with various acoustic arrangements to soften the harsh, sometimes industrial digital tones. This creates an extremely interesting and accessible album which is sure to delight existing fans as well as attract a whole new range of listeners.

Opening track ‘Konstructive’ sets the tone of the album beautifully with its laid back beat before moving on to title track ‘Automne Fold’ with its stripped down acoustic guitars and fuzz laden digital sound merging to create a warm, organic sound. ‘Downshifters’ is a personal favourite of mine with its endless loops and soft layering of keyboards and hisses and distortion used to great effect.

In a departure from the electronica sensibilities, Kanging Ray fits in a traditionally structured track of verse- chorus-verse on ‘Idle’. In doing so he has created easily the most commercial and accessible track on the album, which whilst the polar opposite of the minimalist vocals on the preceding and subsequent tracks fits right at home on the album. It also conjures up the most vivid imagery whilst listening with its descriptive, almost narrative lyrics.

The album also features haunting guest vocals from Lene Toje on the tracks ‘A Protest Song’ (another album highlight) and Quarante whilst the track ‘Apnee’ sees spoken word accompaniment from ‘The Man, the Hospital and the Helicopter’ written and spoken by Andrew Cannon. ‘World Within Words’ conjures up feelings of fear and paranoia thanks to the sublime use of whispered vocals offset by distorted samples and simplistic beats. ‘World Within Words’ is by far the standout track on the album thanks the wonderfully creepy feeling it creates. These tracks make a welcome and interesting foil to the otherwise instrumental release.

With its feeling of early minimalist Steve Reich and the pioneering electronica of Boards of Canada, Automne Fold would make an excellent addition to the collections of fans of Raster-Noton’s signature high end frequencies and precise digital rhythms sound. The vocal led tracks contrast wonderfully against the instrumental offerings and there is a definite feeling of Light and Dark throughout all 14 tracks at times conjuring up images of spirits and apparitions.

It is best enjoyed in a darkened room so with your eyes closed so that you can fully appreciate the journey you are taken on whilst listening to its multi-layered beauty.

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