As the monthly wave of new and forthcoming music lands in our inbox, something immediately grabs my attention like a moth to the light, the latest full length artist album from the Auxiliary label.
I have a knee jerk reaction to anything that comes from Auxiliary, the need to download, listen and absorb in it's entirety. The truth is most of the time this approach is like forced learning, and simply doesn't quite work. The realization of what you are listening to comes over a period of days and weeks. Rather than you breaking down the listening experience, the music weaves it's way into your core resonating with your environment. Sometimes a soundtrack can give life a cinematic filter. The glare of a street lamp across a rainy London pavement can become all more poetic when accompanied by a reflective piece of music. A panoramic view across the city, the intermittent light of a tunnel.
The last album to give me this re-contextualisation of my immediate surroundings was Synth Sense's simply incredible "Tomorrows World" and the following Symbol 9.2. Now I am happy to say I find myself experiencing the same sensation from Auxiliary's latest output; "Tuned To A Dead Channel" from Central Industrial.
I have absolutely no prior knowledge of Central Industrial or any of their aliases, and to be honest, for the sake of removing expectation or preconception this is probably for the best. What little information that is available is that they (yes plural, so i'm assuming 2-3) are seasoned producers who originally cut their teeth on late 90s IDM, breaks, ambient and general UK underground music. The other slither of information available to us is that William Gibson's "Neuromancer" formed the key influence for the LP.
Knowing the themes behind "Neuromancer" certainly does lead the listening experience in a very specific direction essentially creating the score to a yet to be made film adaptation. The track names are suggestive and acutely reference specific key features in the books plot, so it is hard to separate the two as to listen to the album independently. Potentially having absolutely no knowledge of the core influences behind "Tuned To A Dead Channel" would have altered both my expectations and perception of the work.
Auxiliary seem to be at the forefront of a their own sub genre, at least in the sense of the album format. Be it ASC & Sam KDC, Synth Sense or now Central Industrial. Somewhere between the lush spaciousness of ambient, the bleakness of industrial sound-scaping and the tribalism percussive electronica. Drawing on a much used set of influences while interpreting them in a much more fundamental manner. It doesn't really matter if you've read "Neuromancer" as "Tuned To A Dead Channel" more than sets it's own agenda. Like it's predecessor albums from Auxiliary, this latest outing is deeply personal and what really matters is how you react in yourself. "Tuned To A Dead Channel" does not demand any level of great journalistic analysis, but what it does demand is thorough listening and appreciation. We can't recommend this enough.