Thursday, April 2, 2015

A is for Automatic Man & Al Spx (aka Cold Specks)

Automatic Man is an American Rock group that originated in the 1970's; their music includes fusions of funk, psychedelic rock, and Heavy Metal. The band was formed in 1975 in San Francisco; Pat Thrall was on guitar and vocals, Todd Cochran played the keyboard and vocals, Doni Harvey played the bass guitar with vocals, and lastly Michael Shrieve was on drums. Their self-titled album was released in 1976 that was received well during the time and their one single "My Pearl" went on to reach the 97th spot on the Billboard Hot 100. They went on to release a second album titled "Visitors" but the album was not as successful as their debut; which unfortunately led to the band going their separate ways.

Bayete, went on to work with Peter Gabriel, as well as a host of other notable names. In 1991 he released an acoustic jazz album titled "Todd" and later moving towards the 21st century he went on to compose music for movies such as Women Thou Art Loosed and Love and Other Four Letter Words. Jerome Rimson went on to work with Van Morrison. He also collaborated with Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy (I will blog on this group later!) and they produced a single by a band called Blue Russia. He too went on to work with many notable acts as well. According to research, Rimson is living in Dublin, Ireland where he teaches classes on music production and theory. He also penned an autobiography titled "Renegade" ( I will be looking for a copy of this!).

Until I began my research for my theme and begin looking up names, I had never heard of the group Automatic Man. Also, thank all things holy and good for YouTube, because I was able to go back and listen to a few of their songs; I really love the trippy, funky, rock and metal sounds they brought to their music, as one person said their music definitely seemed like it was ahead of its time. I found them extremely easy to listen to as well. Definitely check this group out; I don't think you'll regret it!


     Al Spx aka Cold Specks or (Laden Hussein) is a singer and songwriter of Somalian descent who is from Toronto, Canada. She is said to formally go by the name Cold Specks. She describes her music as a kind of Doom Soul which mixes influences of a bit of gospel, folk, blues and (in my opinion, a bit of rock and metal) into her music. Her first single titled "Holland" was released on October 17, 2011 and in May of 2012 released her debut album titled "I Predict a Graceful Expulsion". As I was listening to a few her singles I was instantly drawn to her voice; there is something so very powerful about it, Her voice has that hard rock age yet it's still soulful. The music is other-worldly, it's both beautiful and frightening all at the same time, you can't help but to dig this woman. Her single "Winter Solstice" off of the debut album is probably my favorite song, it's hauntingly beautiful, magical and dark and listening to the lyrics, it's obviously a song of mourning. Her voice will make you cry (which isn't necessarily a bad thing); it made me relive memories of family members who have passed on; almost as if this song is a call to remember those lost and keep that memory alive.

Her second album "Neuroplasticity" released last year in August, follows the same edgy, frightening, soulful theme. Beautiful sounding music, with that element of rock . Again, there also seems to be a sense of sadness within these songs. I am as excited as a fan girl listening to One Direction; I have become an instant fan of hers, I am so intrigued by her weirdness and I absolutely love it. Check her out below:


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