There are at least six artists called Automat:
1. An electronic group from Italy
2. A techno producer from France
3. A power pop band from the United Kingdom
4. A dance group from Germany
5. A four-track solo project from St. Louis
6. A synthpop band from Quebec, Canada
They released a single eponymous album of instrumental electronic music. It was produced in 1977 and released in 1978 by EMI Italy, through its Harvest label. All the sounds in this album were generated by the MCS70, a monophonic analog synthesizer designed, built and programmed by the Italian engineer Mario Maggi .
Automat was Musumarra's initiative; after learning about the new instrument he proposed to EMI Italy the production of an album of electronic instrumental music. Although at the time such a project were considered risky, the answer was positive. EMI suggested, however, that Claudio Gizzi , a more experienced composer that already worked with them, also participated in the project.
The composition work was divided then: side A to Gizzi, who filled it with a long suite with 3 movements, and side B to Musumarra, who composed three shorter pieces. They had an exiguous time to complete the project: only four weeks in studio. Due this the last track, Mecadence, was left somewhat incomplete.
Automat was the result of an unrepeatable sequence of events. The final result did not please either Musumarra and Gizzi nor the producers. They never collaborated in any other project nor had the opportunity to use the MCS70 again. Automat has only been released on CD once. Despite of this (or perhaps because of this) achieved a "cult" status among many fans of electronic music.
2) Automat is also the stage name of an anonymous French tecnho/electronica producer:
He claims to be from Etang Salé les Bains on Réunion island, a French territory near Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Has has been working since at least 1997 and has released on several indie labels including Diplom, Full Panda, Point One, Sounds Around and Karat. His page is at http://www.myspace.com/automatfr.
3) Automat is also the artist formerly known as David Doll:
Hailing from North London, their material pulls together elements of pop both past and present resulting in a diverse, melodic collection of songs. Formed in 2007, they have grown in popularity in part because of their powerful live appearances. The band consist of David Doll (Vocals, Keyboards & Synths, Rhythm Guitars), Bernie Devine (Guitars, b.v.'s), Marc Laming (Bass, b.v.'s), Matt Taylor (Drums, keyboards, b.v.'s), and Tony Ingram (Saxes, percussion). They release on the Credible Stereo label. Their official page is at http://www.automatmusic.com/.
4) Since 2011 the Berlin-based musicians Jochen Arbeit (Die Haut, Einstürzende Neubauten), Achim Färber (Project Pitchfork, Prag, Phillip Boa), and zeitblom (Sovetskoe Foto) have been collaborating under the name AUTOMAT. Their self titled debut album tells the story of the four Berlin airports and is a dark dub/dance/groove masterpiece with guest appearances by Blixa Bargeld, Genesis P-Orridge, and Lydia Lunch.
5) Automat was the nom de plume of Mike Appelstein, formerly of The Poconos. Between 1998 and 2004, he recorded a series of lo-fi Tascam 424 recordings. These included originals, as well as covers of The Monroes ("What Do All The People Know"), Miracle Legion ("All For The Best"), Strawberry Switchblade ("Since Yesterday") and Shop Assistants ("Somewhere In China"). The best of these appeared on two self-released CD-Rs, Happy Trials (2002) and Just Imagine Drive (2004). These are obscure even by indie standards: both sold about 30 copies total. He played a few shows in Seattle around the turn of the century, but wound down the project after moving to St. Louis and starting law school.
6) AUTOMAT has been travelling and performing across Canada for approximately five years. The band performed in front of a crowd of 7000 people as the opening act for Carly Rae Jepson at the well-known Festival d’Été de Québec and as well as in front of 10 000 persons as the opening act for Hedley. The band also performed at the Bell Center and had one of their songs chosen by the Canadian Olympic Committee for the 2012 London Olympics games. To top it all off, AUTOMAT was on the road across Canada in 2014 and for a total of 90 dates! It is clear that this band has created an outstanding reputation. AUTOMAT‘s music can be enjoyed by both young and old alike. AUTOMAT‘s uplifting sound was born in Quebec, but they could easily take it to the Top 40 charts worldwide. Their last studio album, Pandora, was releases on January 27th and is set to be released in France in fall 2017.
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