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Automatic Writing
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2004
Once again, a record from the likes of John Frusciante and Joe Lally that is challengingly difficult to comprehend with words. Automatic Writing, the debut record from Ataxia, the immensely talented musical trio of John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Joe Lally of Fugazi and Josh Klinghoffer of The Bicycle Thief, is the second of six albums to be released as part of Frusciante's deal with Record Collection Music. This album is simply awesome. The narrow-minded should be warned however. This is, like the past work of Lally and Frusciante, a record that requires an open mind. Despite only five tracks, it is a full length album with two tracks clocking over ten minutes. As would be expected from these three artists, the music on display here is emotionally uplifting and exactly the sort of sound Frusciante's records have been based on. Basically, this is highly recommended for all fans of Frusciante's solo work, as it is almost impossible not to get lost in this sound if his previous projects have appealed to you also. While not familiar with Joe Lally, from research I have done into Fugazi I came to the conclusion that their work is of a similar style, with a lot of startling emotion and deep music. Any fans of Fugazi will probably be satisfied with this release also. The guitar work from Lally and Frusciante is superb once again and the drumming from Klinghoffer also perfect. From the opening guitar of Dust you can expect a touching musical ride, with Another, my favourite track, following that with some amazing guitar again. The Sides is another great track, as is the ten minute Addition. My only complaint would be that my least favourite track, Montreal, is the longest of all at twelve minutes, but it is by no means a poor track. It can become somewhat monotonous. However, anyone likely to get impatient with such songs should probably steer clear. Some of the sound effects have to be heard to be believed. Overall, I recommend this to basically any fans of Frusciante or Lally, with previous work by Klinghoffer rather limited. These three artists might not sell millions of records, but have proved again that they can create beauty through music. With such an immense chemistry, we can only hope for more terrific material from Ataxia.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2004
John Frusciante's musical output is nothing short of amazing. This album is in the same vain as The will to death, John's previous album, with dark tones and two 10 minute plus songs. John shares the vocals with Josh Klinghiffer, and has Joe Lally pumping out a steady bass line. The great thing about anything John Frusciante does is that it makes sense the more you listen, musically he is on a different level.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2004
This album was created over 4 days of intencive jamming. John's gifted guitar playin realy shines through unlike some of his other side projects from the red hot chilli peppers. This album is the 2nd of 6 side projects he will release over the next 6 months, but on this 50 min album, he realy does excell himself, tracks like dust are truly sublime waves of sound to be immersed in. Ataxia are also releacing a second album in just a few months, as they came up with so about 90 mins of music in the 4 days of jammin, they will relese a second album to keep an eye out for.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 November 2007
At different times my favorite of johns work has been to record only water for ten days, shadows collide with people and a sphere in the heart of silence.. currently however i cannot stop listening to this piece of atmospheric genius.
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on 18 January 2011
The first release of the two ataxia albums, Automatic Writing is probably the stronger effort. As each track averages out at about 8 minutes it's pretty heavy listening at first, but its worth the effort. The opening "Dust", hits hard, while the beautiful spaced out semi electronic "Another" with both Frusciante and Josh Klinghoffer on vocals brings the tone down from the previous track. Addition for me is the weakest track on the album, which is pretty repedative while Frusciante's voice get a little wearing, especially nearing the end of the 10 minute track. "Montreal", is possibly my favorite Ataxia song, which combines all the of the musicians talent to the max to provide a most beautiful song.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 September 2004
JF is one of the only guitarists do something innovative with his instrument at the moment. This album shows his talent being pushed into new areas by Fugazis Joe Lally and Josh Klinghoffer (bicycle thief). If you REALLY listen to this album then you will hear some unique and inventive guitar AND some awesome drumming from Josh. All the tracks have great vocals (even if there not that catchy) which support the music brilliantly especially on track two. Buying this will open your mind many of the infinite places music can still be taken to.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2008
Some might say `Automatic Writing' is Ataxia's debut album, others would say `AW' is Frusciante's 6th album and second in the series of the six albums he released over six months. To me, both these points of view are right. `Automatic Writing' sees John once again teaming up with Josh Klinghoffer, who adds drums and vocals. To complete the Ataxia line up Joe Lally from Fugazi plays bass. This album is definitely `Frusciante goes prog rock', as it is like he is going on an exploratory expedition to expand his music both in terms of length and experimentation and he brought his buddies with him. As to why they are called `Ataxia', rather than JF; I don't know if he doesn't want to personally associate with prog rock because it's deemed uncool or it's because it was more of a band than anything he has done before thus he felt it deserved its own entity. In my opinion, it would be more the latter, as to me Frusciante comes across as the kind of person who doesn't really care if he is cool or not; as long as he is happy.

`Automatic Writing' only has five tracks, but due to the length of them, the album still just falls short of the forty-five minute mark. Three of the tracks; `Dust', `Another' and `Montreal', I feel drag the album down, which is unfortunate as they make up 3/5ths of the album. Don't get me wrong there are some great moments on all these tracks, whether it comes through Frusciante's lyrics, for example in `Montreal' where he sings `I sold all my records, What a stupid thing to do' or the great guitar work and use of syths dotted about in all the tracks. However what I feel brings these songs down is the bass. I get the idea behind it, that the bass line is the one constant through each of the songs and drums, vocals and guitars come and go around it. But for me there are too many points where everything else stops and all you get is bass. It's like they were going for a minimalist approach so the listener can see how the song is built up, but they got carried away. In addition, it is all so slow tempo and repetitive, in particular `Montreal', I find it monotonous and it lasts for 12 minutes plus, so it feels like it takes an eternity to finish. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a bassist coming in and doing solos or coming to the forefront of songs every now and then. But this I feel is a bit over the top. Personally I think these songs would be better being shorter. As I mentioned previously there are some really great moments in these songs; but it's a challenge trying to keep awake to hear them. It's as if the three of them were jamming and didn't bother editing it.

A track which does not fall in to the pitfalls described previously and is by far and away my favourite track on the album is `The Sides'. This is the second shortest track on the album coming in at six minutes and forty-five seconds. I wish it was the longest as I could listen to it all day. Compared to the other tracks it has such ferocity and passion. There are also great winding guitar solos which come and ago as they please, showing Frusciante doing what he does best. The album is worth it for this track alone which is just as well!

In saying that another good track the album is appropriately titled `Another'. Sorry, can't resist `bad jokes'. This track sees Josh Klinghoffer get full vocal rights for the first time on a Frusciante album. He had done a vocal part on `Shadows Collide with People', but this is the first time he has sung the majority of a song. I feel Josh's vocals bring a certain freshness and a new dimension to Frusciante's music. As it not only differs from Frusciante's style of vocals but also to most artists out there. Josh's vocals have a sense of calm about them, like a gentle breeze. This is in contrast to Frusciante's vocals which are generally got a more rugged and have raw feeling about them. Again the guys limit this song to six minutes twenty-two seconds, which works a lot better than the three tracks I talked about before which were all eight minutes minimum.

Overall I would say this is an okay album, it's not one I listen too often but at the same time I feel it is still, without doubt worth the purchase for `The Sides' and Klinghoffer's vocals on `Another'. Not forgetting there are moments of genius on the other tracks too, but I just feel it's too monotonous a lot of the time. Don't get me wrong I like prog rock music and I like longer songs, but these songs would be better if they were shorter like `The Sides' and `Another'.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 15 September 2004
Having recently bought some other John Frusciante albums such as shadows, and will to death this definately ranks up there with those amazing solo efforts from John. Being a HUGE RHCP fan myself and having seen them live i can truly understand the beauty of Johns work, i just hope the other albums in the 6 albums in 6 months series are as good as this. Roll on next month.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2006
You always know anything featuring John Frusciante and Josh Klinghoffer is going to be excellent. This is no exception.

This record sounds like 3 guys jamming with a bit of reverb added later. From what I understand, 'Automatic Writing' is only half of what Ataxia recorded during these sessions, and plan to release the rest at a later date. We Can only hope.

The record runs at 45mins, with only 5 songs each song is pretty long, but captivating. It is experimental and even sounds improvised. The lyrics don't mean much at all but John delivers through his guitar playing which will blow you away. Josh shows his talent once again, delivering a solid platform with his drums along with Joe Lally on bass.

Josh even sings through most of track 2 'Another'. And when John joins in toward the end, the result is just pure musical bliss. This is definitely my favourite track on the record, along with 'Addition', the darkest song on the album.

The whole album is dark actually, but groovy at the same time. Its not an album that you will listen to as often as Johns others, but after a few listens, it will definitely be stuck in your head, and possibly even haunt your dreams.

These guys know how to jam and I look forward to any further releases.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 2004
Well what can we say another great solo record by the the living Legend. The main differance with this and the last 2 solo recording's by John seem's to be a big emphasis on his guitar work that he often uses in the chilli pepper's. Where would they be without him. No where near the biggest band in the world i can tell u that.
Any young guitarists out there wanting to learn should really be listening to this guy.
If your wanting a record by one of today's most talented muscian's i suggest that this is a great record to buy, don't be put of by the 5 tracks there each nearlly 10mins long.
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