JOSEPH AUER: Nu Age (Rednetic Recordings)


Posted on Jul 28th 2009 12:44 am

Filed in Albums | Tags: ,
Comments (0)

Joseph Auer: Nu Age

Nu Age
Rednetic Recordings 2009
11 Tracks. 76mins15secs

Icon: arrow Download: iTunes

Born in Chicago, Joseph Auer grew up in Yorkshire and Wales, where he met Mark Streatfield, with whom he eventually set up Rednetic Recordings. Although he is still actively involved in the label, Auer relocated to Tokyo a few years ago and has been living there ever since. Since, he has delivered music for a variety of labels beside Rednetic, including October Man, Boltfish, Lacedmilk Technologies, Smallfish or, recently, Symbolic Interaction. Beside his solo project, Auer is also a member of Lowrider Deluxe with Streatfield, Clive Burns and Simon Thomas. The quartet released their debut album, Future Deluxe, last year on Japanese imprint Symbolic Interaction.

Like Mark Streatfield when he records under his Zainetica guise, Auer has developed a particular blend of Detroit-infused techno which finds its roots in the early nineties British interpretation of the genre, especially The Black Dog or, in Auer’s case, B12 or Kirk Degiorgio. And this is very much what informs his latest release, Nu Age, his first for Rednetic in five years. Like on Freo, the album he released earlier this year on Symbolic Interaction, Auer showcases here his warm and clean sound and taste for smooth yet powerful beats. Right from the onset of album opener Warsaw Dawn, his trademark electronic waves rush in and flood the sonic space, and, as the rhythmic section settles in and sends ripples through its six and a half minutes, Auer is instantly on familiar ground. Following tracks Awake Into A New World and Circuits continue on the same track, wrapping gentle melodies, often tainted with a certain melancholy, with smooth blankets of sounds, processed to feel slightly muffled and occasionally distant, as if Auer’s world was permanently covered with a few inches of snow. Later on, Visions Of Tokyo, fuelled by an almost tribal groove, is more angular and hypnotic, while the defined contours of Teleport give it sharper tone and density.

This album however fails to maintain its momentum and lacks the spark of some of his previous releases. Indeed, everything is a tad too uniform here, with very little to distinguish one track from the next. Auer seems to either work from a very limited sound pool or tailor his production to give this impression. To add to the confusion, themes are repeated at various stages of the record, giving a further impression of linearity. This is very much the case with Doppler Effect Shift which reuses the same motif as the track that precedes it, Circuits, with very little change in context, and closing piece Love Always also seems to feed on a similar structure. Equally, Nu Age and Scattered Satellites share a great number of features and could almost pass as two variations on a same theme.

Creating a blanket sound for a whole record can work extremely well and leave the listener disoriented and lost deep within the record. But, to achieve this, it is necessary to keep the attention focuses in some ways, either through sweeping melodies, strong narrative, or particularly expressive elements, inserted deep within the overall structure of the record. This is unfortunately not the case here, and it is the album which appears disorientated and lost.

Joseph Auer has perhaps let the aesthetic of his sound take over on this particular release and ended up burying his otherwise inviting melodies and soundscapes under slightly too much effect, to the detriment of the overall work. While he deploys here his classic lush and moody techno into often elegant pieces, he leaves his ship drift off too far too early to be in a position to successfully recover it.


Icon: arrow Joseph Auer (MySpace) | Rednetic Recordings
Icon: arrow Download: iTunes

Filed in Albums | Tags: ,
Comments (0)

Comments are closed.