Ataxia
AW II


3.0
good

Review

by Hernan M. Campbell STAFF
April 24th, 2012 | 15 replies | 2,806 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: simplicity over complexity.

The first installment in Ataxia's neglected legacy, Automatic Writing, was a truly mesmerizing piece of music. An experimental album that ventured through the genres of Progressive music, and though it didn't contain any groundbreaking material, it does offer a spellbinding voyage through the abstract realms of ambient Rock music. Ataxia, for those who are not already aware, was a musical project consisting of John Fusciante, Josh Klinghoffer, and Joe Lally. The group only recorded 10 songs, approximately 80 minutes of content, over a two week period and only played two live shows in their lifetime. Automatic Writing was an odyssey through strange realms, an orchestration of cosmic sounds. It was a truly incendiary performance, yet there was still so much potential that could have been explored.

AW II, though an interesting effort, does not expand on the musical conceptions of it's predecessor. It's driven by a different agenda; simplicity over complexity. It opens with, "The Empty's Response", a gentle ballad decorated with an almost ethereal atmosphere. It's as if the listener is descending into dreamscape, guided by the delicate voice of Josh Klinghoffer. The music is very basic, driven by a soft guitar arrangements and minor ambient effects so as to not disturb the emotionality that the music is meant to induce. The philosophy of simplicity that is album follows does work in some occasions, but in other times, the compositions just feel uninspired in comparison to the first album. Of course the recording sessions of Ataxia were meant to be spontaneous, letting improvisation reign over preparation. And this approach does prove to be successful in the recordings of Automatic Writing, but AW II, at times, just feels like it's a collection of B-sides. The album does contain lengthy progressive compositions like it's predecessor. "The Soldier" and "Attention", share a similar aesthetic displaying much more complex instrumental arrangements, and as interesting as the listening experience may be, they lack the alluring mysticism round in their counterparts in Automatic Writing.

But don't get me wrong, this is still essentially another enjoyable effort. "Union" is perhaps the highlight of this album. It has a much more abstract orchestration than the other tracks, driven by a more rock-oriented sound decorated in ambient psychedelia. Automatic Writing and AW II, have sadly been destined to be the overlooked gems within the respective discographies of these three musicians, but they contain some of the most electrifying moments in Progressive Rock. I highly recommend this series to any fan of Progressive music as it will surely be a listen well worth your time.



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user ratings (47)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2012



4337 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I fixed the tracklisting of the album, it was out of order. Hopefully the mods will approve the edit soon.

Acanthus
April 23rd 2012



9506 Comments


though it didn't contain any groundbreaking material, it does

You switch tenses there, and I believe you missed a word here:

he philosophy of simplicity that is album

You might want to open up the ending paragraph with something other than this - But don't don't get me wrong,

as it feels like it was only separated from the previous paragraph due to concerns over length.

Good review though!

Digging: Symphony X - Paradise Lost

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2012



4337 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh thanks, Acanthus.
Unfortunately I still can't edit. But i'll fix up some of the typos when I can.

Acanthus
April 23rd 2012



9506 Comments


Best of luck to you sir!

tommygun
April 23rd 2012



21345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pos, good review apart from a couple of spelling errors. Love this band, it's a shame they didn't stay together for longer. I have this on CD and 'The Empty's Response' is last, not first

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2012



4337 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Acanthus
Thanks.
@TommyGun
I download the album, and I have it as first... my album is version probably has them mixed up. Thanks for the heads up. And yeah i hope they get together for another album. AW I is one of my favorite albums of all time.

tommygun
April 23rd 2012



21345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah I prefer the first one over this too but they are both pretty damn good. Have you heard Klinghoffer's band 'Dot Hacker'?

CaptainDooRight
April 23rd 2012



26369 Comments


oh shit bro I didn't know you put a review. lol it must have been at the exact same time I did

reading now

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

CaptainDooRight
April 23rd 2012



26369 Comments


First track I heard was track 5 "The Empty's Response". I immediately got your point of simplicity over complexity. Perfect summary. This is really laid back and enjoyable.

"It was a truly incendiary performance, yet there was still so much potential that could have been explored. "

"It's as if the listener is descending into dreamscape, guided by the delicate voice of Josh Klinghoffer."

nice descriptions which I agree with 100%.

I also really love that you found a decent balance between formalities and common ground. Good job bro, pos. I'm prolly get both lp's.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2012



4337 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@CaptainDooRight
Thanks, mate, I always appreciate your feedback.

@TommyGun
I didnt know he was doing anything outside of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, what do they sound like?

tommygun
April 23rd 2012



21345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Quite dreamy/atmospheric, Klinghoffer does all their vocals which is a massive plus. I wrote a review for their EP on here with more details. If you wanna youtube a song I'd recommend 'Inhibition'

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2012



4337 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@TommyGun
I checked out your review, and the EP on youtube. It's really good, thanks for telling me about it. you described "Inhibition" very well- it reminds me a lot of Deerhunter.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2012



3155 Comments


Hi! Great review again! I love Frusciante's solo work, he puts so much emotion in everything he does and Josh's voice really suits the music they make together. Beside this, I love his voice on Surrogate People, from the album A Sphere In The Heart Of Silence.

Digging: Amplifier - Echo Street

SCREAMorphine
April 24th 2012



1704 Comments


Great review, sounds interesting. pos.

SabertoothMonocle
April 24th 2012



492 Comments


I mail ordered this and still have the t-shirt. Pos'd



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