“Roger Sanchez/Eric Prydz”
The Automatics Group.
Taken from the album Summer Mix.
The Automatics Group’s recent Summer Mix is an excellent piece of experimental electronic music. Sonically, it brings to mind a sort of pan-spectral take on microhouse — a broad band of static frequencies propelled by tiny, glitching rhythmic sounds, almost like the skipping in early Oval.
It’s impressive, then, to discover that its sounds were generated by an automatic process. Producer Theo Burt begins with populist floor-fillers by artists like Swedish House Mafia, uses the Fourier transform to extract the audio frequencies present in the song, removes the information about the frequencies’ phases, and converts the data back into sound. When the same process is applied to a picture, this is the result:
In the visual as well as the sonic domain, this process creates a rich but unfamiliar terrain — it’s clearly ordered but inscrutably so.
The effect of this music is fascinating. Instead of the clear melodies of the source tracks, the Automatics Group renditions have a smeared, intangible quality. They hint at melodies which are impossible to resolve amidst the spread-out frequencies of the transformed sounds. It is tantalizing music. The tracks on Summer Mix are only labelled with reference to the source artists, but I’m sure I can hear the sounds of Eric Prydz’ Call On Me somewhere within the digital scree.