What's interesting about Tony Young's Autoclav1.1 project is that it appeals to the overtly Industrial crowd while still remaining melodic, engaging and emotional. The cold, metallic sheen of modern Rhythmic Noise can't compare to Young's penchant for matching broken beats with organic piano and lush synth, along with other surprise instances of diverse instrumentation that make for moments both dysphoric and dithyrambic.
Since its inception back in 2004 Autoclav1.1 has put out a couple magnificent albums on the Crunch Pod label. 2006's Visitor Attractions managed to best You Are My All And More from 2005 by adding layers and pumping up the emotive subtext. What comes across as most striking is the range of influences evident in Young's oeuvre. He's clearly an avid fan of music in general and doesn't limit himself to a few similar genres. One can pick up on the Orchestral leanings, Jazz tendencies and Industrial attitude with a pinch of Rock/Metal for good measure all within a handful of tracks. These are all vessels through which the soul of Young's own music pours through and is retranslated into something unique, inspirational and damn entertaining on a variety of levels. It isn't the disjointed mess you might expect and, in fact, Autoclav1.1 has its own refined sound that makes obvious comparisons difficult. You can namecheck artists like Massive Attack or Moby during specific movements but Young has crafted a niche for himself that not only makes him a fascinating musician to watch but one of the best electronic artists you're not listening to right now.
Of course, I don't mean that as a slight. I only wish to convey that it seems startling to consider that three albums into a wildly creative and prolific career Autoclav1.1 isn't as big a name as many others that have been mentioned ad infinitum is these circles.
While he has switched labels, now calling Tympanik Audio his home, and allowed himself to evolve compositionally to a significant degree Love No Longer Lives Here sounds much like everything else in Young's discography, only better. Much, much better. The songs hit harder, the range is wider, the production is crisper and the atmospheres are darker while still retaining a silvery thread of crystalline hope. There are impressive collaborations with Electronic Substance Abuse's Jamie Blacker adding guitar texturing to "All Long Black Spirals" and Cradle Of Filth bassist Dave Pybus contributing some low-end rumble to "Hell Is The Face Of Love."
The album begins with an echoing piano intro that lasts for nearly two minutes making you wonder if you've been tricked into buying some sort of ambient collection. "Casually Losing Selected Memories" builds slowly then bursts forward propelled by a simple, understated rhythm while the periphery contains all sorts of high-range, twinkling electronics. An airy synth guides you over the fray while the keys jump octaves and become more insistent until the song ultimately dissolves and fades out leading into "All For You," a powerfully emotive song with a recurring female vocal which transcends language.
A cursory spin of a song like "Tiny matters" may reveal it to be insignificant until subsequent listens allow you to realize the ringing harmonics are still echoing in your head long after the music has stopped. In contrast the stammering heaviness and tribal rhythm working alongside lush, ascending piano in "We Shatter Sometimes" is like a delicate bust upside the chops. The album ends with the searing "Six Minutes To Live," a synthetic-string enhanced number that bleeds poignancy and ultimately leaves the listener wanting more. You can always start again with track one or just content yourself to be haunted by the memories left in the wake of this stirring assemblage of songs.
An Autoclave is a large, weighty apparatus that sterilizes things utilizing tremendous pressure. While there is a lot of weight to Young's music borne of sincere emotion the aural application of his expression has less to do with forceful pressure and is more akin to a kind of sonic empathy that embraces the listener. In spite of the overtly "Goth" song titles it isn't as though you have to deal with melodramatic lyrics as this is an almost exclusively instrumental set. There aren't really any "skippable" tracks and the collection has an enchanting continuity that keeps you from growing accustomed to one or two favorite songs. This is an impressive album-oriented work from an artist you should really get to know. Love No Longer lives Here is a genuine stunner.
See also: Tony Young: The DTC Interview