REVIEW: AutoCad/Pantheist Audio - "Penultimatum"

By Wilde

Chain Border

Thomas Park, aka AutoCad, is something of an anomaly among electronic musicians. In the tradition of Jackson and Strohbeen, he produces fractal music based on AAVSO observatory variable star data. Park has gotten a lot of attention on the radio and Internet, and is living proof that, in the musical world, it all comes back to the math.

Delta Atmos - The oddity of these tracks struck me pretty much immediately; it's not the sort of thing I'm used to at all. The track starts out with a churning beat, almost like a funkier Kraftwerk. The interest here relies on Park's mixing the sounds he gets into a listenable, even danceable, mix. This is a pretty fast track; it really does sound humanly generated. In a sense, this is music in its purest form: sounds arranged in meaningful form by human consciousness, in this case a sonic translation of the natural world.

Our Skies 1 - This one is fairly film soundtrack sounding, very ambient. There are a lot of sustained, wavering chords.

Log Rhythm - Here's an almost Devoesque track, albeit with a rapid and furiously syncopated beat. Stylistically, It's somewhere between Equivel and Eurodisco.

Stars 124 - This track starts out with distant, hollow ringing over a steady quasi-funk rhythm line. It's very angular and quirky.

Our Skies 2 - More of the same as Our Skies 1, just, well, a different part of the skies, I guess. It is, however, longer than the other one.

Amphibia 116 - This one is fairly upbeat, loud and bouncy, with what sounds like frogs croaking and singing, hence the title.

Stars 128 - Again, hollow chiming, albeit higher pitched, with what sounds vaguely like a mellotron (but isn't). Again with the quasi-funk rhythm. This one's a little faster than its predecessor.

Bioseq 1 - A low pitched drone kicks this one off, then string synths, not unlike the opening of the theme from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai. Bioseq 1 is pretty low key, with a little bit of flanging here and there. Otherwise, it's a lot like the Our Skies series, albeit being the longest track here.

Penultimatum is something very different than we usually see here. It's interesting in both the intellectual sense and as a piece of music in and of itself. While not necessarily being the sort of thing one sees every day, it definitely has quite a bit of crossover potential, and just might appeal to fans of more mainstream forms of electronic music. Expect Park to go a long way with this.

Contact Information:
Post: AutoCad/Pantheist Audio, 5073 A Chippewa, St. Louis, MO, 63109
Phone: (314) 352-2159
Email: autocadthomas@netscape.net

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