Although they may often fly under the radar, musicians such as Brian Reitzell symbolize the sense of transformation and adventure that is inherent in good music-making; even when the music is not a revelation. Having started his musical life bashing the drums for punk pioneers Redd Kross, his journeys have brought him many different places geographically and sonically, including soundtrack work for Lost in Translation and Hannibal. Auto Music is a document representative of these travels, and though nothing here will get you jumping out of your chair, it has a subtle affecting quality that confirms the obvious care behind these compositions.
One stop Reitzell has made on his musical journey are his collaborations with French synth tastemakers Air (he drummed on 10 000Hz Legend.) Lots of stuff here will suggest that mutual collaboration has had an extended effect on Reitzell, as tracks like “Auto Music 1” and “Last Summer” bear a strong common thread. In this regard, the music can’t quite stand completely on its own feet, even though the compositions themselves are cool and measured streams of breezy, brewing synth and slow-jam beats.
On the other hand, a track like “Ozu,” which although still features the kinds of soaring passages and sections one would associate with the aforementioned French duo, is here approached in an aggressive manner. There is a little more grit here, which is a nice change of pace, and no doubt nods toward Reitzell’s fuzz-pop beginnings.
So though there is some obvious artistic overlap across the record, Auto Music is a well crafted and tuneful album that though it might not quite measure up in the greater scheme of things, is regardless an excellent outing for Reitzell and more evidence that he is undoubtedly a prominent figure amongst the company he keeps.