Saturday, February 9, 2008

Autechre - Quaristice (Warp)

It's hard to believe that Sean Booth and Rob Brown have been experimenting with sound for over 16 years now, ever since their first release, Incunabula, on Warp Records. It is perhaps their unique programming approach to analog synths, custom Max/MSP patches, micro granular effects, and mathematical rhythms, that pushed the envelope of sound exploration to the common studio techniques of today. Can the UK duo continue and reinvent the sound? I'm on my fifth listen of Quaristice, Autechre's 9th album, and the definitive answer is: yes. The twenty tracks on a digital release which I snatched from bleep (including exclusive artwork for each track!), maintain the indisputably unique Autechre sound. The beats are still chopped, the sound waves decomposed, and the structure erratically twisted. But unlike Autechre's previous LP, Untilted, this 2008 release is warmer, less noisier, and at times even melodic (there are even strings buried deep in one of the tracks). The genre starts to glide closer to abstract and minimal ambient, with an occasional glitchy quality of other worldliness. If by some miracle this is your first Autechre experience, brace yourself for a unique and unforgettable experience, if you can hold on. For the rest of us, it's just a necessity for our complete anthology. Too bad that the special, limited to 1000 copies edition, with an additional CD and a photo-etched steel casing sold out within the first 12 hours of announcement. |


derby said...

Sold out within the first 12 hrs? What a shame.

Maybe the headphone commuter's reputation will snatch 1?

steve said...

Pretty good stuff but I think AE are far overrated. While they keep getting more and more abstract, i find myself getting more and more heavily into groups going in the complete opposite direction, with beautiful melodies and harmonies and solid beats and bass- Freescha comes to mind (who are utterly underrated). Not knocking AE, but they kind of lost me after Chiastic Slide. Respect is due though.