Kangding Ray - Automne Fold [Raster- Noton - 2008]Automne Fold follows the trend of many recent Raster-Noton releases by taking their distinctive and often clinically minimalist electronic sound into new and fascinating sonic places. Automne Fold is possible one of the most accessible, dense and atmospheric release so far on the label with some tracks even featuring vocals.
The album starts off dark, shadowy and edgy with samples of a rain drenched Berlin over eerier stripped electro bass and percussive tones, and it really never full steps back out of the shadows even on the more accessible moments. The album that most came to mind when playing this album mood wise was Autechreís Amber because of itís shadowy, bass weaved, edgy and precise take on electronica, though Automne Fold is very much itís own sonic place. The clinically/complex often static and noise lined beat patterns that are Raster-Noton trademarks are sunk and weaved into a dense often airless tracks that hover with shifts of doomy synth atmospheric and harmonics. With also the of use of more organic elements treading here and there too like contrabass, Detuned piano, bowed guitar, violins and human vocals.
Favourite moments are rather difficult to pick as this works at itís best as one long shadowy and edgy run but a few key moments come in the form of; A Protest Song with itís opening shifting clouds of electro textures and beats that drop downs into gloomy guitar sampled textures and bleak synth pop march with looped sparse female vocals by Lene Toje. Downshifters with its tight static rhythmic start that opens up to an almost dubby bass line, weird sampled voice elements and harmonic and quite bright keyboard hits. The bleak hospital first light feeling of Palisades opening with itís iron lung breathing rhythmic textures Ė that opens up into some fine contrabass playing by Olaf Casimir and electro- acoustic cinematic dense beat making.
A great dark, creative and intelligent yet accessible slice of electroncia that will appeal beyond the usually Raster-Noton buyer, yet it never compromises or sells it self short manging to be approachable yet experimental.Roger Batty