Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Automat: Automat (EMI, 1978)

Progressive and italo-disco? Sounds foolish, but "Automat" is not an isolated case: in the end of the 70s, more than an artist tried to merge the neoclassical grandeur of spaghetti-prog and the electronic grooves of Giorgio Moroder.
"Automat" is anyway one of the most accomplished attempts at this fusion. Listening to it is like spinning Jean-Michael Jarre on one deck, Midnight Express theme on the other and discovering they fit perfectly. The album has something like a concept, dealing with the adventures of a golem-like robot. It is no futurist work though: instead of celebrating the glory of the machine, the music portays a somehow disillusioned spleen. Baroque fugues inspired by Bach, minimalist repetitions and crystalline synth layerings disclose an alabastrine melancholy, the one of a creature which can't feel at home in the human world. A steampunk version of Alan Moore's Dr. Manhattan.

Automat was a short-lived project of soundtrack composers Claudio Gizzi and Romano Musumarra, together with sound engineer Mario Maggi. The album was entirely performed (even the drums!) on the MCS70 analog synthetizer, designed by Maggi himself. The first half of the record features Gizzi's compositions, the second one Musumarra's.
Trivia: J.-M. Jarre was the first person to get a copy of "Automat".


  1. Automat: (The) Rise
  2. Automat: (The) Advance
  3. Automat: (The) Genus
  4. Droid
  5. Ultraviolet
  6. Mecadance
Download (320 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:
Easy Going: Fear (Banana Records, 1979)
Giorgio Moroder: E=mc² (Durion, 1979)