Autamata s the creation of Dublin-based artist/producer Ken McHugh who this week releases limited edition EP ‘Tales From My Sanctuary’, a taster of forthcoming album ‘My Sanctuary’ released February 04.
Even Ken McHugh - aka Autamata - doesn't quite know how to describe the breathtaking eclecticism of his debut album, My Sanctuary. "A lot of people ask me and I still haven't worked out the answer," he admits. "It's influenced by just about everything I've ever heard and you can't even begin to pigeon-hole it. The only answer I have is that I hope you can put it on and by the end you feel you've been taken somewhere."
My Sanctuary is a record that as soon as you think you know where it is headed, then it immediately takes a no-hand-signals left-turn somewhere else entirely. It's a record that via its beguiling mix of real instruments and electronic programming takes you to an entire gazetteer of contrasting map references: Country/City. Happy/Sad. Pastoral/Urban. Acoustic/Electronic. Noisy/Ethereal.
From the limpid beauty of ‘Out Of This’ to the irresistible electro-pop beats of ‘Jellyman’, Autamata introduces the Bjork-influenced experimentalism of ‘Registered User’ and the joyful Lambchop-meets-
Lemon Jelly vibe of ‘Jive County’. Add to this the floating trip-hop of ‘Let's Normalise’ and change direction once more with the clanging industrial beats of ‘Little Green Men’ and its extraordinary orchestral coda.
My Sanctuary was recorded over a year long period, while he was also working on other projects. Originally, he had conceived it as a purely instrumental album. "I had some very chilled rhythms and beats and noises. But then I realised I also wanted something you could whistle in the shower and so I moved to a more song-based approach."
In addition to Ken himself, vocalists on the album include Carol Keogh of The Tycho Brahe and Cathy Davy, now signed to Parlophone as a solo artist. Keogh played a particularly important role, singing on half a dozen tracks and contributing lyrics.
Autamata will be bringing their live show to the UK to tie in with a second single in January and the release of My Sanctuary in February.