Automatisme is the electronic music project of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec-based producer William Jourdain, who has since 2013 released a brilliant series of albums and tracks under this moniker, exploring various intersections of drone, glitch, dub techno, ambient, electro-acoustic and noise. Starting with site-specific field recordings, Automatisme samples, processes, signal bends and transforms this source material into soundscapes charting a broad spectrum spanning minimalist pulse, methodically additive beat, stacked-tone maximalism, spatial drone and arrhythmic ambient/noise.
Jourdain is among a cohort of young electronic music practitioners for whom the early works of progenitors from twenty years ago loom large – Pan Sonic/Mika Vainio, Stefan Betke (Pole, ~scape), Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto, Raster-Noton). This period (1995-2002) was similarly formative for Constellation, and while at that time the label was preoccupied with the dirtier and messier sounds of local bands melding punk/rock instrumentation with various post-rock currents, we were concurrently huge fans of the aforementioned artists, their rigorous, methodical, highly-controlled strategies and arid, restrained sonic terrains. Automatisme has bubbled up and hit all our residual minimal-electronic pleasure centers all these many years later.
Aside from his three full-length albums for Constellation, he has released albums with Force Inc / Mille Plateaux (Germany), Neologist Productions (US), Liberation Through Hearing (UK), Outlines (PL) and Diffuse Reality (ES), among many others. Notable live appearances include MUTEK, ELEKTRA, Suoni Per Il Popolo and Pop Montréal (CA), Le Guess Who? (NL), Sulfure and Octandre (FR), Generate and Knobs & Wires (DE), and the Basilica Hudson 24-Hour Drone series (US). Automatisme has performed on recordings and/or on stage with Byetone, Monolake, Seefeel, Thisquietarmy, Myriam Boucher and more.
Jourdain completed a creative residency at Malmo’s EMS Elektronmusikstudion (the Swedish center for electroacoustic music and sound art) in 2019. He holds of a degree in art history from UQAM, with an emphasis on altermodernism, non-representation, and sound architecture. These themes are at the heart of Automatisme’s artistic approach and in the essays he writes for noncopyriot. We also urge interested ears to check out Automatisme on Bandcamp for all of Jourdain's excellent self-released and collaborative material.
Contacts & Links
William Jourdain's writings for noncopyriot
Artist images by Marilyn Lamoureux are here
Aug 25, 2022 - Montreal, QC @MUTEK Festival
Oct 20, 2022 - Saint Hyacinthe, QC @Le Zaricot
Nov 20, 2022 - Montreal, QC @La Sala Rossa [opening for Greg Davis]