King Automatic
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King Automatic


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"The king of enigmatic bohemian rock 'n' roll"

King Automatic has become the latest French garage genius to join Slovenly Recordings roster of bands. Described by the label as "the king of enigmatic bohemian rock 'n' roll," the King formerly rocked and rolled with '90s Estrus recording artist Thundercrack. Now flying solo, the King presents his unique take on the one-man band arena.

The debut seven-inch from Slovenly presents two cuts, "Closing Time" and a "From Commercial Road to Elstree," murder ballad based on England's notorious gangster twins the Kray's that Slovenly describes as "an updated version of the Medway sound popularized by Billy Childish in the 80's, and perfected for the 21st Century." Sounds like a winner. - Los Angeles Examiner

"Noted with a sigh, "there's no-one else to carry all your shit""

AUTOMATIC RAY - King Automatic (Voodoo Rhythm Records)

John Schooley remarked in an interview earlier this year that one of the benefits of being in a one-man band is that you don't have to concern yourself with the behaviour or performance of your band mates. On the flip side, Schooley noted with a sigh, "there's no-one else to carry all your shit". That's an important logistical factor in how far a one-man band is prepared to challenge the outer limits of musical dexterity. King Automatic is the solo garage trash nom de plume of Jay, drummer with French garage band Thundercrack, and occasional collaborator with Billy Childish, amongst others. King Automatic's tools of the trade include (but are not necessarily limited to) the kick drum, snare, hi hat, farfisa organ, samples, guitar and Jay's own ravaged vocals. The opening track - listed as "Drive to Fast", though I assume that's a spelling error created in translation from the French - is a scene setting track if ever there was one. It's like jumping in a mate's car after everyone's had a skinful and screeching off into the distance without a care for one's future on earth (which, just to make it clear, is incredibly stupid behaviour and inherently more dangerous than listening to this CD). It's a breakneck journey that may well be aimed at weeding at those punters who don't have the internal composition to cope with King Automatic's solo attack. "Waitress Problem" sees the organ in action for the first time - creating a four-way battle between hi-hat, drops of organ noise, industrial strength guitar noise and grating vocals. "Oversleep" is not quite as abrasive - it's almost melodic at certain moments, the truncated 60s organ melody taking the roughest edge out of the searing rock guitar solo that appears mid-song. "It won't start" - maybe based on the deranged mutterings of a driver driven to the point of extreme frustration by a car that refuses to get moving - rests on a brutish guitar line that could be the perfect sonic representation of a car engine struggling to spring into action. "Napoli Ribbons" is the bounciest, and the longest, track on the gig courtesy of a happy-go-lucky keyboard lick; "Autistic", in vivid contrast, opens with a soft, ambient moment before being rapidly overcome rock riff that's riddled with moments of Stooges glory mixed with 50s rock sensibility. "Welcome to Disney World" - dominated by indecipherable vocal interruptions - is possibly the garage soundtrack Gallic critics of the French Disney World have always wanted; put it over the loudspeakers at Eurodisney and that particular piece of American imperialism would be gone forever. "Down in Soho" is short, simple and just a bit nasty; "Rekord 2066" is a nasty journey into outer space, an acid trip that's gone horribly wrong and caused the listener to be condemned to a Warholian interpretation of the most extreme Kubrick fantasies. There's a few covers thrown into the mix - my favourite is the unique take on Kraftwerk's post-industrial "The Model". The classic simple melody is still there, but instead of Kraftwerk's Teutonic electronica King Automatic delivers a ragged trashcan assault that could have been produced originally had Kraftwerk written and produced the song in the worst heavy metal polluted factory areas of the former Easter Europe. Devo's "Mongoloid" gets a similarly faithful, but different treatment, and would (I guess with no confirmation) be appreciated by Mothersbaugh, Casale et al as an appropriate contemporary interpretation of Devo's before-its-time commentary on the impact on contemporary technology on social relationships. "I don't give a fuck" and "Sugar Ray" are live recordings, demonstrating that the recorded sounds barely differs one iota from the extreme white garage noise of the live sound; the former is another illustration of the inherent beauty that lies within one man's garage; the latter could take you down a path into perpetual hypnotic oblivion. Voodoo Rhythm has the best record company marketing slogan I'm aware of - "music to ruin any party". King Automatic would ruin most parties with his unadulterated assault on the sonic sensibilities of most listeners. But those that endure the attack would form a community that would be bound with the closest of bonds. - Patrick Emery
(translation) - Voodoo Rhythm


Brand new on voodoo rhythm records.. is KING AUTOMATIC, one Man one Mission.. THE mission to cross over Fast Driving rock'n'roll with Elektro Trash.. mixed up punk rock with KRAFTWERK and DEVO, 'the song I oversleep'sounds like the Stranglers having their mouth stuffed with potatoes and up the brain a electro shock of 10'000 VOLTS !!! sometimes the stuff is so ultra extremely distorted the only thing you ear is a wall of noise and a melodie ..somethimes.. this is NO TOP 100 SHIT.. this is music from a desperate child who is against the music what is on today.. listen to the king you Feel The Power to change the whole world of music TODAY !!! It comes in Vinyl LP and Digipack CD ... and including 2 LIVE TRACKS !!!!!
(English Translation on King Automatic webpage) - Voodoo Rhythm

"The King does it alone"

French one-man band Jay Automatic – aka King Automatic – describes his music as “Primitive Big Band”. In a world that clamours for pithy, catchy descriptions, King Automatic’s self description is spot on the money, with a twist of irony for good measure.

The music is undeniably primitive – like everything else on the Reverend Beat Man’s Voodoo Rhythm label (catchy cry “music to ruin any party”), King Automatic is rock’n’roll stripped back to its indigenous elements; with an enemble that includes keyboard, drums, guitar and whatever else is in his current rock’n’roll kit bag, there’s stuff happening everywhere. But – and here’s the twist – there ain’t no-one but the dextrous King Automatic up there, swapping, balancing an dblending whatever musical tools lie before him. For those of us who struggle to walk and chew gum at the same time, it’s an absolute freak out.

Hailing from the town of Nancy, in the La Lorraine region of north east France, Automatic starting out playing in the beautifully titled Dracula et les Vélomoteurs when he was 12-years-old, before playing in various other bands (“I played in a lot of bands with often the same people,” Automatic remarks), the most recent of which being Sux Evulsors and Thundercrack. Some years ago Automatic decided to cut to the chase, and re-invent himself as a one man band.

“I ‘ve always played alone at home just for fun,” Automatic says. “I had done some recording on old 2-track tape recorder, but I decided to start playing as one man band in around 2001,” Automatic says. At the begining there was only guitar and drums, before the instrument collection branched out to include maracas, organ and harmonica (“I’d like to play all instruments if I could!,” Automatic says). Automatic infused his music with his eclectic collection of artistic influences, including Jaques Dutronc, The Specials, Howling Wolf, Ennio Morricone, The Sonics, English and French punk rock from the 70’s, rockabilly, soul, rhythm‘n‘blues, rocksteady, Calypso, and even classical music.

Former Hard Feelings band leader John Schooley once remarked that the best thing about being a one-man band was not having to worry about your band mates; the worst was having no-one to help you carry your stuff to and from gigs. For Automatic, it’s also a two-way street.

“Playing alone is sometimes more easy, you can play just what you like and when you want!,” Automatic says. “The worst is that you're alone to find songs and decide which ones are good or not . You're alone to go on tour , drive and move your stuff too! But I'm lucky coz sometimes, my girl or friend comes to help me. I like solitude when it's just for few days! Then it's now more easy to be alone to go on tour or find gigs coz you need just one car, promoters only have to find accomodations for one person, boss of the bar gets smile coz you 're not gonna drink as much beers as a ska band,” Automatic laughs. “But just talking about music, I think it doesn't matter if you're alone or not to create and play music. If I could play my own stuff with a big band of 40 people it would be OK for me!,” Automatic says. While there’s a notable blues sensibility that comes across in King Automatic’s music, Automatic says he’s equally motivated “by the music the blues generates , like blue beat, ska, rhythm’n’blues, rock’n’roll and soul”.

While it might seem that perfecting the one-man band might be a long term quest, Automatic says things fell naturally into place. “I don’t really know how long did it take but when you play drums, you get an automatic synchronization of your arms and legs so it's not a real problem for me,” Automatic says. “The most difficult is to stay concentrated before, during and after the song. At the end of the song I start to think about the different adjustments i'm going to do for the next song! I had to be in the habit to use sampler and try to do loops straight and start and stop it with the same foot than to play kick drum!,” he says.

Automatic found a musical soul mate in the Reverend Beat Man from Voodoo Rhythm records, on which label King Automatic has so far released a few albums. “He came to play in Nancy my own town, but we were in contact early by e-mail,” Automatic says.

King Automatic’s forthcoming tour of Australia, which will comprise an appearance at the Flip Out! festival together with a few sideshows, will be Automatic’s first tour outside Europe since he toured the United States with his previous band Thundercrack in 1999 and 2003. Automatic’s intentions while in Australia are simple – imbibe the local music and see if he can meet any of his musical heroes.

“Just see and know this country coz in France, the only time we can hear something about Australia, it’s for the new year,” Automatic says. “Maybe I can meet The Saints or the Easybeats!” - I-94

"The Frenchman Speaks: The King Automatic Interview This One-man Band Has a Lot to Say"

King Automatic is a bit of an anomaly in the music world. The man behind it, Jérémie Malisz, creates a sound that is a mixture of backwoods blues and bare knuckles punk. That's not the strange thing, though. The fact that this Frenchmen is a one-man band is what sets him apart and places him on Switzerland's Voodoo Rhythm Records, a label known for honest music that pop radio avoids like the plague.
When King Automatic's newest release, In the Blue Corner, came out, I knew I had to get a few words with Malisz. Luckily, this king was kind enough to grant me some time in his court.

Before King Automatic came about, Malisz played drums in a lot of bands "often with the same people." The last ones, he says, "were Sux Evulsors in the '90s and Thundercrack." When asked how this evolved into King Automatic (or devolved, if you tend to think of a one-man band that way), Malisz gives a very simple answer.

"I've always played alone at home just for fun," he explains, "recording on

"I start with recording a loop of percussions and organ, then I play it and at the same time I start to play live guitar, drums (bass drum and snare) with me feet, and sing on the loop I just recorded." Let's see John Mayer do that.

The music may be difficult to pull off effectively, but it's not the most difficult part of King Automatic. According to Malisz, the hardest thing is "to try to be not regarded just as a 'joke band' and continue to call people's attention, especially since two or three years there is a lot of [one-man bands] all over the world now and you can't come anymore and count just on the fact that you're alone to play. Some of them turn it up into something more [theatrical] with costumes and effects. Others are already charismatic. Other ones try to find something different to do musically."

That's a lot to compete with, but that doesn't stop Malisz, whose influences include Jaques Dutronic, The Specials, Howling Wolf, Ennio Morricone, and The Sonics, as well as 1970s era English and French punk, rockabilly, soul, R&B and just about everything else. He knows it's an uphill battle to even be heard these days beyond the Internet. When I ask about his popularity level in America, his answer is fairly surprising.

"In America ... I have no idea! I think not so much maybe because Voodoo Rhythm suffers of a not really good promotion in USA, or maybe because there

So what does Malisz hope his fans take from In the Blue Corner? Does he have any expectations?

"I just hope they'll take this album not only as an extra, a 'souvenir,' of the live act, but more like a real album they can also listen [to] in their living room, and enjoy the slow songs, too. [I] hope they are gonna also like the sound more than the two old albums." Those two releases being the excellently titled I Walk My Murderous Intentions Home and Automatic Ray. "If they find an interest in the lyrics written with my friend Rich Deluxe," the musician adds, "and at the same time take it just to dance and have fun, it would be perfect!"

Voodoo Rhythm, run by the amazing musician/actor Reverend Beat-Man, described King Automatic as part of the evolution of rock 'n' roll in a press release for the most recent album. Yes, it's hyperbole and meant to catch a person's attention, but there may also be some truth to it. I asked Malisz if this description was something he agreed with.

"Ah! Ah!" he exclaims. "Yes, I know. It's a little bit pretentious! I think he said that just because I [mix] all the music I like to do what I do ... without any hang ups." Malisz goes on to explain, "That's the best when you are a [one-man band]. You can play a ska track and after a punk one [do] a country song. When you play in a band, there is always one of the musicians to tell you, 'Oh man, I can't play this reggae track, I'm rockabilly you know...'"

That obviously offers an artist a lot of freedom, which is something Voodoo Rhythm is concerned about, too. The freedom to create free of restraints. I wanted to know how King Automatic actually became involved with the label. Was it planned or pure chance?

"In 2003," Malisz answers, "I started to find a label. I chose the labels I liked the most, then sent a demo. I started with five labels. Beat-Man was the first (and also the one) to answer three days later! I was already a fan of Beat-Man, The Monsters, The Dead Brothers, etc., and to be on Voodoo Rhythm was kind of a dream for me."

Malisz goes on to state, "Then Beat-Man came to play in my town. Sonny Vincent was supposed to play there, but they crashed their van on the road and Beat-Man asked me if I could play. (I promise I didn't do any sabotage on Sonny's van.) Then we talked about album details."

While King Automatic and Voodoo Rhythm embrace the bare bones, stripped down, primitive aspects of rock 'n' roll in its many different forms, they also exist in a world full of technology that has, for better or for worse, changed the way we listen - YAHOO


_ "In The Blue Corner"
LP/CD, Voodoo Rhythm Records (2009)

_ "I Walk My Murderous Intentions Home"
LP/CD, Voodoo Rhythm Records (2007)

_ "Automatic Ray"
LP/CD , Voodoo Rhythm Records (2005)

_ "The Not Essential King Automatic"
10"/CD, Kizmiaz / Bang! Bang! Records (2012)

_ Spilt w/ Les Johnny's
10", Hound Dog Records

_ "6 Mighty Shots
10"/CD, Bang! Bang! Records

"Closing Time"
7", Slovenly Recordings

_ V/A "Halloween Rumble"
7", Squoodge Records

_ "Automatic Pussycat"
7", Kizmiaz Records

_ "S/T" One sided 7" limited edition
7", Squoodge Records [ABC series]

_ Spilt w/ Bud Mc Muffin
7", Kizmiaz Records

_"King Automatic with The Feeling of Love"
7", Yakisakana

_ "The Upside-Down World of King Automatic"
CD, Stained Circles/ Every Night Is A Saturday Night (Australia - 2008)

_ V/A "One Foot In The Grave"
CD, Kizmiaz Records



King Automatic is the solo garage trash nom de plume of Jay, drummer from French garage band Thundercrack, and occasional collaborator with Billy Childish. King Automatic's tools of the trade include (but are not necessarily limited to) the kick drum, snare, hi hat, farfisa organ, samples, guitar and Jay's own ravaged vocals.

This, here, is the king of enigmatic bohemian rock 'n' roll!