Access Autonomic 003: DAAT
DAAT’s exceptional debut HVAC released on their own imprint Detuned Transmissions back in June was one of the few LPs of recent years to really explore what this sound is capable of, not only from a technical viewpoint but also from an emotional one. A personal highlight of the year and critically well received with ‘Fridge’ receiving Mixmag’s ‘Tune of the Month’ accolade, the album is simultaneously sparse, meticulous, aggressive, inclusively warm, bleakly desolate – a glowing testament to the duo’s capabilities and the format’s wonderfully open sound palette.
Furthermore, evolving the notion of Autonomic as carte blanche they had this to say after we got in touch to talk about the possibility of a DAAT Access Autonomic: “Around a year ago, we had the idea of expanding the concept of our mixes to include techniques related to the ethos of detuned transmissions (e.g., reception, interference). We’ve been iteratively developing software to do this, and we’re now starting to integrate it in mixes and tunes.“
This organicity is a key feature in their frankly stunning latest instalment of our AA mix series, a loving ode to their top five tunes from the era and a real pleasure to host featuring tracks from some of its key artists including Instra:mental, Consequence and Bop (who gave us his Five Steps earlier in the year). So without further ado, we hand over to the boys themselves… Enjoy.
The autonomic sound played an important role in the development of 170BPM music, popularising avenues for experimentation such as the use of drum machines over breakbeats and the emphasis on emotional content. There is a very wide variety of styles within autonomic reflecting the personal influences of each producer. As such it’s hard to decide on a handful, but here we have chosen a few key tracks that influenced us.
Commix – Japanese Electronics (Instra:mental Moog Remix) [Metalheadz 2010]
The remix of Japanese Electronics by Instra:mental is a big tune for a variety of reasons. There’s the pads and melody that are perhaps the most upfront track element. Definitely dig how they ride over the bass melody. A bit more subverted are the recorded/sampled bits (rhythmic part that sounds like a clock winding). We especially like the odd rhythmic one that jumps around the octaves, along with the swelling vinyl noise that helps balance out the tonal parts.
Croms – Invisible Cities [EXIT 2011]
John Carpenter—the boss/Don—has been a big influence for us in both the visual and musical domains (by the way, check the unreleased material that’s just recently come out!) from classics like Assault on Precinct 13 and Escape From New York. Croms was able to capture and develop on that Carpenter vibe in Invisible Cities. There’s something infectious about this chorused DCO mid-bass hammering out the eighth notes while synth melodies weave in and out over top.
Consequence – A Man And A Woman [EXIT 2009]
In autonomic there was an increase in the prominence of synthetic drums and sparse beats, which made room for atmospheres to stand out. A Man And A Woman is a track that really showcases atmosphere and lets the drumwork play a more supporting role. It’s a synthesized dreamscape and it’s hypnotic‚ like when the second drop comes in out of the breakdown it sneaks in gradually and doesn’t disrupt the mood that’s established by the synth pads and tonal progression.
Diazepam – Half Awake [CX Digital 2010]
On the darker end of the spectrum, we nominate Half Awake. Dominated by a growling bass and high clicks, the majority of the track exists in either extreme low or high frequencies. The main element in the mids‚ the piano cuts in and out so much that it gives the whole track an isolated paranoid feeling as though it was playing through a radio, this radio was the only link to the outside world, and it was starting to lose reception.
Bop – Morning Air [Med School 2011]
The signature sound of Bop stands out among autonomic producers: glitchy digital beats with a lot of open space. The sparsity of Morning Air, as the name might suggest, makes it a refreshing track within the often synth-heavy autonomic style. All that space gives room to hear even the smallest sound, and the dub-styled bassline maintains a head-nodding groove to keep things rolling.