REVIEW: Automatic Tasty – Propaganda (Vortex Traks VTX008 – 2018)

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Along the autobahn in a vintage Daimler

A mainstay of Lunar Disko in his native Dublin, Jonny Dillon aka Automatic Tasty participated in a mini compilation in 2015 that marked the launch of Vortex Traks. Now the artist’s first solo EP for the electro label can be classified as homage to Kraftwerk, when the group’s legacy can be perceived in Dillon’s interpretation of classic electro. The attribution to Kraftwerk may sound very unoriginal and even risky, but in “Propaganda” the artist has managed to keep balance between traditions and present day.

Right from the opener “Prying Eyes (See No Evil)”, the tracks are voice-activated with robotic articulation, along the lines of  ‘eins, zwei, drei’, assisted by cybernetic bleeps and elegant pads. A bright mood is prevailing, if we only take “Listening Posts” that recalls Dopplereffekt’s early tunes and forms with “Man & His Values” a pair of relatively uptempo tracks.

In “Europe”, imagine leather seats and chrome bumpers, the real automotive enjoyment behind the wheel of a seventies Daimler, when Automatic Tasty is cruising in Ruhrgebiet’s urbanscape, then passing under La Grande Arche de la Défense in Paris and going via Shoreditch to the final destination in Dublin. In the ambient ending “Final Transmission”, voice fragments sound like shortwave radio captures during the Cold War, as we know from The Conet Project.

This EP is an ample package of classic, harmonious electro and I would expect a remix version with mutant vocals in German. It’s a welcome propaganda of electronic music, brought to us by a small and beautiful label from Berlin.

Points: 9 of 10


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