Martin Buttrich announces a new album under his new alias, Stoned Autopilot

Martin Buttrich is famously as fluent behind a mixing console as in front of a virtual drum kit. That technical prowess, combined with a fascination for music of every shape, has resulted in outstanding releases on influential labels such as Planet E, Four: Twenty, Cocoon, Poker Flat, Nervous and Desolat. And it’s not just the catchiness of his compositions or the way he manipulates beats into unique tapestries that get crowds hooked. His skills with a sonic scalpel, that esoteric ability to navigate the spectrum of audible (and inaudible) frequencies have given him cachet among even the most meticulous of sound engineers.

With a career with roots in Berlin and Hannover clubs, through to his notorious collaboration with Timo Maas at Peppermint Jam distribution, to formative years in New York working alongside Loco Dice, Buttrich has throughout the decades developed an era-defining groove instantly recognisable for the discerning listener. His latest album project, ‘Light Vessel Automatic’, sees the producer’s vision more and more condensed, and his sound evermore crystallised under a new alias Stoned Autopilot. For the album, he’s unafraid of putting solemn piano melodies and cinematic strings side-by-side with wacky synth dings, reggae bounces or retro-house beats. Even more impressively, he manages to give every sound on the album orchestral coordination and breathing space, stretching out tracks until they feel like whole universes with colours and textures. Attention to detail is a trademark of the producer, but so is his ability to never sound fastidious – above all, there’s an overarching playful and nonchalant attitude to ‘Light Vessel Automatic’. It’s an album for slow appreciation and careful consideration, and in all its layers it expresses just how far Buttrich has come as one of Germany’s foremost producers.

If every track of ‘Light Vessel Automatic’ illustrates a universe, then ‘Lovefields’ is its most blissful landscape. Slowed-down piano chords set the serene pace of the tune. Around them, soft, almost inaudible, textures create an alluring mystical atmosphere onto which the tune gets progressively built on. Buttrich plays with a warm palette of colours that never dims or bursts, but rather stays suspended in elation. It’s a suave atmosphere that takes listeners on a down-tempo, contemplative wander through a mix of analogue instruments and ethereal digital soundscapes.

Whereas ‘Lovefields’ is a sensuous and delightful musical treat that feels lush and wide-open, ‘City Pulse’ captures the frantic pace of an urban centre. The track picks up after a gentle introduction that progressively gains body as dawn gives way to daylight. As the beat kicks in, the track accelerates into a more hurried tune, but the drowsy bass lines from the start keep it from overwhelming the listener. At times the luxurious bass and synth-scapes take the foreground providing a much welcome resting space, at other times the jittery drum machine drowns out the calm. ‘City Pulse’ is anything but static, cycling through highs-and-lows the tune keeps listeners on the go, and, as the last track of ‘Light Automatic Vessel’ wraps the album’s journey suggesting there are more adventures to come.

About the Author

Director and DJ, Ian French (Naif) is passionate about every genre of music from Breakbeat, to Drum & Bass, to Techno and House. A man that lives in a world of beats and bass, and total confusion about life!