- I Asked
- According to Plan
- Be Quiet
- The Long Days
- Demand Full Automation
- Dark harvest
- Light Shining In Buckinghamshire
- Numbers Station
- Permanent Emergency
Demand Full Automation anticipates our world at a crossroads where either machines liberate the working class to pursue meaningful tasks, or automation is used as yet a another tool to subdue. Enter this instrumental, beat-driven (near) futurist narrative expressed through electro-acoustics, acoustic instrumental or a fusion of both. Part of the artistry here are the varied textures culled from instruments like steel drums, gamelan and strings, among other instruments, while all electronics and synthesis are meticulously programmed from scratch. Added to the sounds are percussion from the jazz drummer, Milo Fell and spoken word pieces from the Russian actress and poet Ksénia Lukyanova–Emelyanova.
Demand Full Automation is Simon Crab’s second post-Bourbonese Qualk recording, though vestiges of his two decades long project still haunt this work. Indeed Crab both founded and fronted ‘Qualk and over the years dwell in the musical nether regions of power electronics, post-punk-no-wave, ethno-jazz, industrial, electro-gabber-techno, and post-rock among other styles. Throughout, Qualk’s music is always politically informed with keen analysis in a world largely gone mad with resource wars, environmental destruction, and merciless consumerism. With the untimely demise of guitarist, Miles Miles in 2002, came the dissolution of the band. Crab then went on to co-found the electro-experimental SunSeaStar with fellow audio adventurer, Andy Wilson. It is in 2014 when Crab’s first solo album, After America, where his talents for musical narrative surface. After America too anticipates a world where the USA is no longer the global cultural hub as it melds with a variety of ethnic styles and electronics.
The follow-up, Demand Full Automation heralds an era where machines dominate almost all facets of our lives, and the attendant struggles this entails. Demand… can be pensive at times, but is mostly driven, upbeat and relentlessly marches towards progress. Demand… expresses the idealism and liberty possible from technology, contrasted with the oligarchies who expect voluntary enslavement through obedience of blind consumerism. Nothing is wrong with demanding full automation, it just depends on who is doing so, ‘us’ or ‘them’.