Ben Peers’ “auto-mátiqa” is a set of four long electronica pieces created (like so much else) during lockdown in 2020. It’s relatively minimal in its sonic palette, and it explores the sense of randomness, in music that has been both composed and algorithmed (if that’s a word).
Opener “mátiqa” begins with three minutes of a simple but shifting melodic pattern, before the abrupt arrival of rubbery and expressive synthbass and unexpectedly frenetically programmed but soft kick drums. Second track “máqina” is much more conventional, a mellower series of slow chord washes with the familiar pace contrast effect of pulling rapid, curt, glitchy rhythm programming against the languid and plaintive melody sounds.
Third track “mátiqo”, by contrast, foregoes the slow elements and is packed with skittish, energetic clicks and beeps- with occasional echoing space between flurries serving as the substitute for space. There’s something of an Aphex Twin vibe about it at times, but without some of the edge and attitude outside of the ambient works. This rolls on almost unnoticed into final track “auto-” as the energy and fizz slowly dissipates and longer calmer notes are gradually reintroduced.
It’s a smooth long-term listen and a greater sense of the structure and flow of it as a 52-minute album is only really noticeable by stepping back and considering it as a whole- in shorter sections and quick Spotify drop-ins it may seem a little bit of a mess. It is worth taking the time to appreciate it as a whole, certainly.