Wow, what an interesting thread. I don't know who these Autechre guys are, or what their music is like, but seldom have I read such consistently vitriolic criticism of a band's style of music (or non-music?) You guys really do sound like scorned lovers!
However, someone out there must enjoy their music, right?
I disagree wholeheartedly with all the posts here and I do like their new music. A lot.
I just find a lot of their new stuff very intense, complex, alien, and yes, emotional. Not all of it hits the mark, but when it does, it makes for a very exciting listen. If you want melodies, pretty harmonies, or beautiful atmospherics, there's plenty of other musicians covering that ground quite nicely. If you want some very odd, skittery, edge-of-the-dancefloor (and beyond), daring, original
sounding music, then go for them with an open mind. I actually like "Confield", strange as it might sound; listening to that loud with all the lights off is a potent experience. I can see why people would find their music difficult, but I just can't help but love it. I didn't even really need to "make" myself enjoy it, either - it was was like finding something I had always been looking for. Maybe I'm just insane....
I do love melodic and harmonic elements in music, and my favorite composers explore these elements in ways I love, but who says they have
to be there? Why should Autechre compromise when there's plenty of music with less dissonance (including their own early stuff) out there? I'm quite happy with them concentrating on the splutters, gurgles, and weird, unpredictable track morphings, and I look forward to them becoming even more unpredictable, intricate and experimental yet. For me, what they're doing isn't random; it's involving, logical, music - it's just that they're a bit more playful with the rules than others might be. Like I said, I appreciate less "deranged" music, too, and I personally wouldn't ever go as "out there" and difficult as Autechre with my own music, but when you're in the mood, Autechre provide something quite special. I understand why people are upset with their new direction, but my bizarre brain seems to enjoy it.
I think they are still pretty popular - the special 2cd edition of Quaristice (priced at a ridiculous £25) sold out within a day. There were a thousand copies of it...