Artist: Bionaut
Album: Au Naturel

Label: Tiny Bubbles

Au Naturel
Chris Green and Paul Eggleston are Bionaut and have been quite prolific in their five years of live performances around their home-base of Hyannis, Massachusetts. Festivals, bookstores, private parties, art galleries, radio shows, clubs, coffehouses and rave chillout rooms are all among their credits.

For Bionaut, live performance is the path to creativity. They realize entire compositions through spontaneous interaction with each other in the live setting. According to Eggleston "Most groups need to be dragged out of the studio to play live. We're the opposite. We need to be dragged in to the studio."

Their new CD Au Naturel consists entirely of excerpts from live gigs. The nine tracks that make up the CD have peculiar titles like "Asleep at the Knob", "Moby on Thursday" and "Orb This", yet the music the duo creates is far from whimsical. Bionaut's music is deep, dark, dense and distinctly analog, created on vintage analog synthesizers in the spirit of that age.

As is the case with many musicians in the live situation, it takes a while for a composition to develop out of what begins as an aimless jam session. On Au Naturel each track seems to be the best portion of a lengthy deep space aural excursion, faded up at the point where the piece focuses, then faded down before entering a different section. This method of recording everything and sorting it out later allows Bionaut to capture on tape spontaneous moments unlikely to occur in the restrictions of a structured studio session.

It's easy to get lost in the nine tracks on Au Naturel. Most are introspective soundscapes that utilize the classic thick sounds of gear from an era where sonic motion and hands-on manipulation of sound was the norm. Only two tracks feature sequencer patterns, a welcome change to the overall smoothness of Au Naturel.

Au Naturel is a good listen, but I suspect that Bionaut is even better experienced au naturel at one of their live performances.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   03.12.97

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