Date: November 2015
Cat & Format: DR-34 | CD & DD
"Temporal Enhancement" is a sonic exploration of the perception of time. Each sound is an event. Each event a ‘here and now’ perception, experienced and consigned to memory. Each sound exists in the ‘specious present’ and exists for a set duration before ending. Temporal space in between each sound populates the narrative of present and past. The brain relies on memory to bring order and meaning to the sequence and to notice changes across the passage of time. The experience of harmony or disharmony all depend on the placement of events, the spaces between these events and relation of each event to each other.
"Temporal Enhancement" brings together a range of abstract ambient, folk, microsound and modern classical influences to create its narrative. Audio artefacts are interwoven from a range of man made and natural acoustic sources. Details are preserved or lost, clarified or confused through the compositional process. Each track is an offering, an invitation to join external signal and internal perception. In a world where the perception of time can be both a joyous or painful experience the sounds offer an insight into the human condition. Autistici works on the premise that the true and final experience of any sound belongs in the mind’s ear of the listener.
In the words of Francis Bacon: “Perhaps one day I will manage to capture an instant of life in all its violence and all its beauty.”
Image: Paul Bilger
Mastering: Poryra Hatami
Temporal Enhancement is a record all layered up with enticing hums, clicks and whirrs. Autistici bring together these sources and many more, assembling each piece with the sensibilities of a an abstract modern classical composer. All pretty wonderful and microsoundy!
Autistici is the flourishing moniker of Sheffield based electronic music composer David Newman. An avid innovator, Autistici has created a
back catalogue that is blossoming with a wide range of textural sound designs, delicate orchestrations, serene spaces, and distinct tonal
fragments that are held together by a range of field recordings. On his new album, ‘Temporal Enhancement’, Autistici has distilled a sonic
exploration of the perception of time into six distinctly beautiful tracks.
Stripped down into six touching motions that represent different ‘here and now’ perceptions, experiences, and memories, ‘Temporal Enhancement’ brings together the lightest touches of abstract ambience, folk, microsounds, and modern classical influences. Set against reflective field recordings and composed to instil the barest flickers direct melodies, the album is a wash of textures that sprawl freely in all directions.
‘Feeling Before Thinking’ and it’s counter-part ‘Thinking Before Feeling’ standout as beautifully organic pieces, and they capture the delicate theme of the album perfectly. It’s the blurring of lines and the empty spaces in the songs that lets every listener find something unique and personal to enjoy, and through the digital splashes of ‘The Grotesque Physicality of Waiting’ and the droning tones of ‘Habituation of the Heart’, the purposeful ambiguity remains constant.
A series of solid sounds that searches relentlessly for a true experience of sound, ‘Temporal Enhancement’ works as an aural vessel through which both Autistici and his audience can find peace and infinite revelations.
• Rating: 8 out of 10
David Newman, who works as Autistici, also has his own label, Audiobulb, and among the
releases you can find a piece of software called 'ambient', which I reviewed in Vital
Weekly 845 and which is something I like a lot. I might be entirely wrong (or have
strange notions about such things), but I imagine that Newman is still working with
that bit of software, among other things of course, and maybe expanded or enhanced
it further, and that he explores his own very personal brand of musique concrete with this tool; or maybe not at all. On his previous release, 'Beneath Peaks', he used a bit more piano and guitar, but those seem absent on this new release.
On 'Temporal Enhancement' we find a 'sonic exploration of the perception of time' and as Newman writes "Each sound is an event. Each event a ‘here and now’ perception, experienced and consigned to memory. Each sound exists in the ‘specious present’ and exists for a set duration before ending. Temporal space in between each sound populates the narrative of present and past. The brain relies on memory to bring order and meaning to the sequence and to notice changes across the passage of time. The experience of harmony or disharmony all depends on the placement of events, the spaces between these events and relation of each event to each other."
This works out into six pieces
of microsonic ambient, with lots of small details; there is no doubt some electro-
acoustical treatment of sounds taped from hitting, scrubbing, banging objects but all
of that is heavily treated with software, spaced out, with gaps between them, which
are filled with airy lightness. Sometimes such as in 'Opened Up Too Quickly' it is all a bit louder and angular, with a stronger emphasis on the acoustic sounds and their multitude of treatments. Throughout however the elements works with quieter elements and the granular stretching of all sort of sounds, forming small loops and big drones (although never 'fat', if you catch my drift). In 'Thinking Before Feeling' these small loops all of a sudden seem to be able to form a rhythm of some kind.
All of this makes that this album has quite an interesting amount of variations to offer: there is that rhythm bit, the noisier section and the more obvious microsound/ ambient pieces. This is the kind of drone music I very much enjoy; not because it's very 'new' per se, but because there is that oddity, that strangeness, those variations that makes all of this just a bit more different and exciting, than some of the others in this field. Nice one!
This new release from Autistici is described as "a sonic exploration of the perception of time". This concept is realized placing every sound first in a particular place of the stereo field and then repeating changing his place or slightly modifying it. The result is a sort of narration of how something is remembered, and changed, during time.
The sample opening "Feeling Before Thinking" is repeated until the reverb change it into a texture and this operation generates a moving soundscape for the noises in the foreground. "Opened Up Too Quickly" is instead developed from strewn samples panning in the stereo field. "Habituation Of The Heart" is a complex track starting quietly with a still tone until a noisy drone fill the sound canvas and his end let emerge sparse samples; this structure is permuted until, in the final part of the track, a gentle drone emerges upon an heartbeat. "The Grotesque Physicality Of Waiting" is a dialogue for rhythms and tones and "Thinking Before Feeling" focuses on resonances and reverbs of some samples; here the rhythm part creates a strong sense of movement. The first part of "Slowing Down Before You Stop" sounds is developed upon a single sample filtered to generated isolated elements whose interrelation creates a sort of sonic diffraction.
It's impressive how David Newman creates a cohesive but various release upon a limited palette of samples but it's the cure for the details that makes the difference from a typical minimal release. This approach is mirrored by the cover by Paul Bilger generated by sparse tones of pencil, or so it seems. Truly recommended.
Here are some clips from an upcoming release by David Newman, also known as Autistici, an electronic composer from Sheffield, UK.
From what’s heard here, Newman is a little difficult to put a handle on; he offers us a teaser from his upcoming release Temporal
Enhancement, parts of which sound like splicey proto-industrial, metallic Breaking-Bad-soundtrack swells, and incidental sounds aboard
a spacecraft as imagined by 70s filmmakers.
Everything that exists today like everything that has ever existed and everything that will ever exist is the result of waves. Waves of sound,
of light, of time and space. Every event we witness is a waveform, translated into something we can feel, see, smell, taste or hear. Music is a perfect tool for these translations and within the realm of music, no genre has been so effective in presenting waves as ambient and drone music.
Perhaps that is what excites me most about these genres, the ability to turn ordinary evens into sonic adventures and journeys into either the unknown of the deepest regions of the self. Besides, it's perfectly possible to meditate on this kind of music and let yourself float along with the soundscapes. Finally, ambient and drone music usually have a mysterious otherworldy feel, something which always fascinates me.
Autistici is David Newman, a UK electronic music composer who is based in Sheffield (UK). With a wide range of instrumentation, field
recordings and orchestration he creates gloomy drones, something eerie and sometimes warm, soothing even. 'Temporal Enhancement' deals with the perception of time and does so with great sense for experimentation. The traditional approach to ambient, including layers of
soundscapes and subdued sounds, is enhanced by far away voices, haunting samples and quite a lot of silence, as in the stunning 'Habituation Of The Heart'.
On this album Autistici explores the cooperation between natural and man made sounds, which results in both familiar and obscure audio experiments. The music can be compared to the works of acts like Saffronkeira, Vladislav Delay, Zoviet France or even Dutch avant-garde mastermind De Fabriek. Especially 'The Grotesque Physicality Of Waiting' reminds me of the latter. 'Thinking Before Feeling' somehow also
reminds me of a dark version of Gas, driving on a deep, repetitive beat and combined with a hint of O Yuki Conjugate.
People who know me, should by now know that in my opinion this is a fantastic album. I absolutely love 'ambient with barbs'. I love the
continuous alternation between relaxing sounds and details clamoring for attention from the listener. So what else could I do than highly
recommend this brilliant piece of work to any ambient faddist out there. Check it out, disappointment will not be an option....
Transitory in nature, Autistici’s “Temporal Enhancement” is limitless. By opting out of any particular structure these sounds are free to roam. A plethora of textures filter themselves through the album making Autistici more of a geographer of uncharted sounds. Impossible to fully pigeonhole the listener is kept guessing throughout the album never knowing what could possibly happen within the confines of the track. Easily the most exciting aspect of this album is how the songs appear to be coming out of a peculiar type of headspace like the amplification of all those sounds that are so often ignored.
Quiet in tone is the album opener “Feeling Before Thinking”. Slowly coming and out of view the song feels akin to breathing quietly during sleep. Parts of it feel positively subdued in tone as the ambient washes help to obscure the origin of the sound. Harsher and much more rhythmic is the disorienting fluttering work of “Opened Up Too Quickly”. For this piece Autistici opts to let things veer from extreme near silence to almost cacophony. By far the highlight of the piece is the gargantuan work of “Habituation Of The Heart” where the aural twists and turns help to give it a funhouse sensibility, going through halls without stopping. Rudimentary grooves are constructed on the ebb and flow of “Thinking Before Feeling”. Possessing a sense of play is the odd dub-inflected sounds of “Slowing Down Before You Stop”.
Elements of the natural world and digital manipulation collide to create a compelling world on Autistici’s “Temporal Enhancement”.
Listening floods the perceptual horizons to transcend into unallocated sensory realms where the heard constructs realities in which there are no objects anymore, but diluted passages, ghosts appearing as a dynamic flux of affections that unfold the sonic imagination. It’s what Autistici develops, mental room built from busy investigations on sonic spectrality, expressed as a frantic meeting of silent roars and unstoppable microsounds fluctuating among organic recordings and abstract tonalities. An intense journey around unfinished textures which serves as a point between the malleable and the unconscious, between air molecules and their oneiric consequences, leaving the listener bewitched in a situation in which causes and effects can’t be distinguished. At the end, neither the artist nor the listener matter; not even the sound, which also disappears in the mesmerizing temporal enhancement.
“Feeling Before Thinking”, traccia d’apertura del nuovo lavoro di David Newman riassume nel suo titolo e nelle liquide contorsioni del suo contenuto sonoro l’approccio istintivo applicato dall’artista inglese alle sue creazioni sotto l’alias Autistici. Nel caso di “Temporal Enhancement”, tale approccio attiene alla percezione del tempo, la cui natura événementielle è descritta in sei momenti che rappresentano altrettante condizioni fattuali legate al tempo, quali ad esempio l’attesa e le varie graduazioni della velocità.
Invertendo idealmente la marcia verso un delicato naturalismo ambientale degli ultimi “Attaching Softness” (2013) e “Beneath Peaks” (2012), in “Temporal Enhancement” Newman torna a plasmare un’ambience impervia, prodotta dall’attrito piuttosto che dalla modulazione di timbriche chitarristiche interpolata da field recordings. Sono invece sciabordii sintetici, glitch irregolari e allucinati accenni di rumore saturo a riassumere la concezione (a-)temporale di Newman, che alle contemplazioni naturalistiche dei dischi precedenti sostituisce visioni surreali concentrate su sospensioni spettrali (“The Grotesque Physicality Of Waiting”) o espanse in prolungati piani sequenza, come lungo i torbidi diciassette minuti di “Habituation Of The Heart”, che da sole occupano ben più di un terzo del lavoro.
Soltanto al termine della conclusiva “Slowing Down Before You Stop” si riaffacciano field recordings bucolici, come a rimarcare la risalita in superficie da un itinerario sonoro claustrofobico, che incapsula il tempo nei recessi di un’inquieta percezione sotterranea.
Un procedere incostante di suoni e interferenze, slegate da qualsivoglia sovrastruttura che possa ingabbiarne il flusso, è alla base del nuovo lavoro a firma Autistici, pubblicato da Dronarivm.
David Newman torna a sondare il vasto campo della sperimentazione elettronica per costruire un viaggio alla ricerca delle variegate percezioni legate al trascorrere del tempo, inteso nelle sue molteplici forme determinate da differenti condizioni al contorno. Il risultato è condensato in sei tracce che si muovono su atmosfere differenti, che variano dalla fluida calma di “Feeling before thinking” allo scarno e nervoso incedere dell’oscura “The grotesque physicality of waiting”. Lungo lo svolgersi del disco si fondono suoni acustici a field recordings con innesti di frammenti e trame rumorose, il tutto condensato in un magma allucinato che si offre come spunto per la creazione di personali vivide visioni, richiedendo un apporto attivo a chi ascolta. Emblematica in tal senso la lunga narrazione di “Habituation of the heart”, vero è proprio vortice capace di rapire e trasportare verso un disarmonico abisso che al tempo stesso attrae e spaventa e che idealmente riporta alle sensazioni disegnate nella lunga traccia catturata in “Live at Electric Spring”.
Decisamente un album che richiede di essere ascoltato senza riserve, abbandonandosi al suo impervio incedere fino alle finali palpitazioni ambientali della conclusiva “Slowing Down Before You Stop”. Un viaggio accidentato senza traccia di prevedibilità o compiacimento estetico.