Being Electronic music pioneers, Autechre decided to take Electronic music to the next level. Given that the UK Government wished to crack down heavily on the underground Rave scene of the time, Autechre’s Anti EP released earlier on in 1994 had sought to create less repetitive music and beats as a result of the description of that legislation. This album, however, is often seen as their masterpiece of their career and followed shortly after that EP. Let’s take a listen to this album and see if it is up to scratch. This is also coincidentally their first full length album of proper material.
We begin with Dael which begins with some unusual TB-303 styled sounds, before launching into a quirky and IDM styled piece. Indeed, Autechre were pioneers of IDM sounds here. This is catchy, melodic and pretty weird (in a good way) and is very different to a lot of music out there. The mixture of beeps, beats and textures make this a very interesting listening experience. It takes what one originally can think of music, and makes it sound completely different and new, which is awesome. There is an ambience of darkness on this track which is rather freaky sounding, too. A weird and unusual piece of music that is wonderfully crafted, this is less for dancing, more for listening through headphones here. Very strange, dark and unusual, this is not at all boring although it is well over six minutes long. It has a super weird and sparse finish, which is odd. Good start to the album.
Next is the super weird intro to Clipper before we head into some basic beats here. This is a great listen from the start, but sounds really weird. It sounds as though it is a perfectly dystopian music for an increasingly dystopian world. The beats and textures here are very minimal in usage and effect. It’s also pretty weird music that you cannot really dance or go crazy to, it’s just delivered well. Sounding a lot like super minimal Techno, this is a great and extraordinary listen all the same, but very emotional and moody sounding. Towards the middle, it builds up slowly and gradually with a ton of delay here. Awesome to hear, this is a great listen but very emotional, despite it being IDM. It is also quite catchy, too, which is unusual for this sort of music. A great and excellent listen, this is really awesome to hear. An out there and awesome piece of intellectually driven music, towards the end we hear a lighter section of music that fades away gently and gradually. Different, all right.
Leterel begins with some weird squelches and unusual rhythmic beats. It is another weird and wonderful piece that is expertly crafted. It’s quite hypnotic too, sounding like nothing else in the history of music. It is quite melodramatic listening too. An interesting and decent piece that sounds like something out of a film score with some string sections flowing on in the background, this is pretty unusual and weird music. It is not at all conventional, and just sounds very odd. The music here follows the template of minimal, weird and out there. A great listen indeed if you like weird, it is a strong and epic piece of music to hear. Wonderful listening though, although many people would be thrown off by the weirdness of this music. The main section of the beats fade at the end, leaving some unusual processed textures repeating for some time.
Rotar follows with some freaky looped sounds to begin with, before entering into another unusual rhythmic section. It is safe to say that this is Techno for those who like IDM and Glitch based music. This is a wonderful and beat heavy piece of music that sounds dark and disturbing. Very catchy, but with an overtone of darkness here, this is an excellent listen all the same. It sounds like nothing else in both EDM terms and the history of music, it is just plain dark and weird. A great and interesting piece of music, in the middle the beats finish briefly to leave the dark and disturbing melodies play along, before the beats resume again. This is a nice and wonderful listen if you like your Electronic music dark and weird. A very eerie and borderline horror movie piece that sounds different, this is clever music. It doesn’t sound very easy to listen to, however. Towards the end are some isolated beats that are more straightforward, before some awesome delayed sounds finish this odd. Very creepy sounding, but brilliant. It ends with some looping.
Next is Stud which begins with some interesting electronic sounds, before launching into some interesting Glitch style sounds here. This is definitely very unusual music here, with some extra layered sounds gradually entering. This is a great pastiche of sounds and effects that are different and effective simultaneously. It is an interesting listen, just different and definitely out there in terms of sound. A decent and layered piece of music that is repetitive, it is very minimal as well. Towards the middle the rhythms stop, and the bass melody continues for some time. This is really strange to hear, and some IDM style beats eventually return. This is a really odd and unusual piece of repetitive music that is spacey, and to be honest, a bit too long. In fact, most of the tracks here are too long and could have been cut down in length. It goes into a quieter breakdown with the bass melody being especially prominent. It’s good but really gets annoying and repetitive after some time. Some effects processing towards the end makes this a bit more interesting, before gently concluding.
Following is Eutow which fortunately is much shorter than some of the other offerings here. It begins with spacey Techno style strings that sound ambient, otherworldly and melancholic. Shortly into it, some extra supporting melodies enter which are weird. Some proper beats kick in next which are wonderful and glorious to hear. This is definitely a highlight of this album, perfect for listening when playing computer games or an activity similar to it. This is surprisingly good and enjoyable, although the music here is clearly for quite a niche audience. Very dark, trippy and weird, this is a good piece of sonic artistry that has lasted the test of time. Excellent piece of music by Autechre, the fade out here is rather trippy.
C/Pach begins with some weird and dark trippy melodies that are good, with some beats quickly entering into this piece. This is shorter in length, once again, which does help things quite a bit here. A 1960s style organ then enters this track gradually, which sounds unique and different. This is music to hear in a serious, and (likely) sober mood. It is EDM for the brain, as opposed to party music to dance to. It’s minimal without being too dull here, and that is a strength of Autechre’s music. The album overall by this point is decent, and the shorter tracks here on this part of the album do help. An excellent listen all the same, this is EDM for meditating to. Brilliant stuff all the same, it is different for sure. The delayed sounds towards the end are magical, before this piece ends abruptly.
Gnit is a longer piece that is silent for some time, before launching into an array of catchy and cut up beats that are really cool. This is excellent to hear, the beats here are electronically modified and treated, just sounding cool. This is an IDM lover’s delight, and just sounds really amazing. Once again, this is quite minimal music but all the same, a great piece of structured and intellectual brilliance. Really awesome stuff, this is super good to hear. The music here is really awesome, sounding like the ultimate head rush that you need to relax with. Just quite simply top, there is no doubt that Autechre were pushing the original boundaries of musical perception with recordings such as these. Getting increasingly intricate towards the end, it is a great journey of scientific sounds here. It finishes with some spare melodies, before ending gently.
Next along is Overand which is much longer at seven and a half minutes long. It begins with some plain Electronic melodies, before some extra melodic sounds and textures enter. There are some unusual sonic sounds, such as high frequency pitch waves here, as this piece of music slowly develops. Some subdued and subtle bass sounds are here as well, which are definitely out there in the sonic landscape. This is really clever music compared to the here-today-gone-tomorrow nature of most EDM, and deserves credit in many ways for this fact. Once again, although the music here is obviously really good, it is a bit too long to really enjoy as much as other forms of music, due to its minimal nature. In the middle are some very quiet background sounds and beats that test your listening ability here. This continues for some time and slowly rolls along, before the melodies from earlier on enter. The high frequency sounds here are just plain weird. A good piece nonetheless, although quite a long listen. Towards the end, this track breaks down and we hear more silence at the end. Different.
Last along is the 10 minute piece Rsdio which begins with some Roland style sounds that are processed beats. These roll along nicely, with some 8 bit styled sounds joining on in shortly into it. This is retro based territory that just sounds different and unusual for even this sort of music. Very adventurous. However, it requires a certain sort of listening ear and patience about it to appreciate this music here. It is catchy enough and different enough to enjoy all the same. The piece evolves slowly and gradually, definitely music to be patient with. It slowly and gradually builds up with many layers and sounds that are different. Towards the middle of this track, the beats cut out briefly before they return with some additional sounds. Great stuff all the same, especially if you dig EDM and IDM genres of music. Just really cool music to listen to, especially in today’s postmodern world. In the second half, this piece has some interesting sounds in the background that sound really weird. These sounds continue on without the beats here for some time, whooshing away in the background. This leads into a very Psychedelic part that concludes this track, and the album. Very unusual stuff. It ends with around 30 seconds of silence, how odd.
This is a good album that, although has some inspirational and interesting moments, does drag on for a little bit too long here at times. Despite all this, the music here is interesting, intricate and minimal enough to get one listening. This album is often seen as the highlight of Autechre’s career. If you dig IDM, Glitch and EDM genres, this should be no problem to hear for you, and some outside listeners would also be impressed as well.
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