"Since its beginnings in 2002 Autamata has defied being pigeon-holed. Sometimes labeled electronica, sometimes rock, sometimes acoustic. The band are currently touring and played the Austin city limits festival and electric picnic this summer.


Since its beginnings in 2002 Autamata has defied being pigeon-holed. Sometimes labeled electronica, sometimes rock, sometimes acoustic. Whatever the tag, this outfit has produced some of the most innovative and coolest music of recent times.

Revolving personnel reflects the band’s broad and nebulous nature but throughout its ever-changing history Ken McHugh has remained the central figure. As the main composer, musician and producer, he has directed proceedings whether on stage or in the studio.

The earliest line-up featured two of Ireland’s foremost female vocalists: Carol Keogh and Cathy Davey – both now successfully signed artists in their own right. A later configuration saw Graham Hopkins (ex. Therapy?) on drums and Sarah Verdon adding more vocal talent to the frame. At times it became more like a collective with anything up to seven musicians on stage creating a fascinating panoramic live experience.

Autamata’s debut album, “My Sanctuary”, was released by RG Records in 2004 in the UK and Ireland to critical acclaim. Almost immediately it was pounced upon by a swathe of ad execs and film directors who saw rich pickings in its fresh and vibrant sound. So began a flow of song placements in projects as varied as car adverts and Hollywood movies. “Its kind of weird because I have never sat down to write music for a film or an advert. I just make my albums because its what I do and it just so happens that people like my music enough to use it as a soundtrack to their visuals”

“Short Stories”, the band’s second album, whilst maintaining their uncanny ability to produce another crop of desirable tunes favoured for film and TV, allowed them greater scope to flex their musical muscles live and, in 2006, they played a string of festivals and headlining gigs across mainland Europe, the UK and Ireland.

At the start of each new album Ken shuts himself away in his studio for up to a year to create delicious rhythm tracks and spectacular sound-scapes using various instrumentation and an array of modern technology. “At the beginning of a new album I think of my studio as if it were a blank canvas. I start by making beats which I see as foundation lines. Melodies and riffs I see as landscape. I then colour it all in with sound manipulation and texture. In a way, I feel like I am painting a picture as much as making music¬.” As things progress he moulds some of these instrumental tracks into songs with the help of various vocalists whose tonal qualities fit the feel of the music and his way of working.

Autamata’s new album, “Colours of Sound”, is set for release in Ireland on 7 March 2008. This time fans will be treated to an up-beat, kaleidoscopic collection of tracks with notable vocal contributions from McHugh, Keogh and Davey plus the instrumental virtuosity of violinist Cora Venus Lunny.


2004- My Sanctuary
2006- Short Stories
2008- Colours of sound

Set List

1) What you all about?
2) Marshmallow
3) Musics all we need
4) Come party at my house
5) Effervescent
6) Jive county
7) I spy
8) Summers son
9) Watching the world go by
10) Cloud seekers
11) Jellyman
12) Lets normalise
13) Liberty bell
14) Goldilocks
15) Registered user
16) Dirtybird