Author Topic: Autechre - is it worth it?  (Read 15110 times)

darren bergstein

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Re: Autechre - is it worth it?
« Reply #40 on: February 01, 2008, 07:11:22 PM »
my my my, mr. lockett...we *are* in a cranky mood today, aren't we? dissing the autechre boys like that. shameful. me thinks you need to just shut yourself in your room, put on a warm mug of tea, and play all those new kranky records instead. you know: the ones with all those gee-tars on them.  ;) ;)

seriously, because of the vehement nature of this thread, i realized it was time to check out 'quaristice' for myself. just sampled a few of the tracks and can't honestly say i see what all the piss and vinegar is about. yes, it is fair to judge/measure an artist's new recordings with what has been produced in the past (and, critically speaking, well understandable, if not reasonable), however there is also something to be said about working within clearly defined styles (i.e., just about most artists we can think of: i mean, steve roach or robert rich aren't going to start producing 50s hard-bop), something autechre continues to do. *is* their new one comparable to past glories ('incunabula', 'amber', 't.r.', etc.)? perhaps not. does it need to be? does this kind of yardstick need to exist to gauge the work of anybody you/we hold dear? in many ways, yes, but bottom line is that ultimately, appreciation for any 'latest record' ultimately does lie where your ear is at, at the moment. and, of course, there's no doubt that many of our so-called 'icons' lose the plot / sell out / dump their integrity over time (tangerine dream comes to mind).

again, having played some of the new autechre tracks, i found them actually fairly sedate (and likeable) and relatively uncluttered in comparison to previous works (and i don't mean this as a pejorative). some did recall early 'electronic listening music' (utterly ridiculous descriptive phrase, to be sure) of that old warp/clear/de-focus variant. some of the tracks nearly sounded...well, not 'pretty', but...langorous? a bit spacey? maybe 'cuz the boys are getting on in years they'll drift closer to ambient waters. i can see it now: autechre's 'music for internet cafes', produced by eno & daniel lanois.

anyway: i'll be picking up 'quaristice' when it hits, probably a used copy when one shows up. so there! ;)

oh, and alan, will get you a copy, too. for frisbee purposes. ;)

np: robert rich / markus reuter 'eleven questions' (unsung) - superb 'scaping going on here, complimented by reuter's almost-frippian/crimsonesque warr guitar at times. gets a little hassell-ish as well; plus some of robert's sound design has an uncanny, gothic air, harkening back to the 'bestiary' days. formal review to appear in new column in 'signal to noise' magazine, out in late feb/early march.

« Last Edit: February 01, 2008, 07:15:07 PM by darren bergstein »

Undershadow

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Re: Autechre - is it worth it?
« Reply #41 on: February 02, 2008, 07:14:50 AM »
Yeah, nicely done, Darren. These days I’m more in Kranky mode than cranky mood :)
Anyway, sure, I get your drift, and I do take your point about artists situating themselves within a tradition and working it. But let me ask you to consider the matter of the validity and/or authenticity of my response to Autechre by analogy with your long-standing relationship with Tangerine Dream – an analogy which you almost invite in your post.

So, let’s say we take 1973-77 TD musical output and your feeling/relationship with it, and then take its counterpart 15 years later. Now when these late80s-early90s TD albums came out, did you not lament How The Mighty Have Fallen, did you not moon about boo-hooing The Feeling Has Gone – that the puny palpitation of response in your ticker was such a pale ghost of the hugeness of your heart-swell at the likes of Phaedra and Rubicon? Did you not in fact act along the lines described, or would you have me believe you contented yourself with a: “Hey this really ain’t bad, in fact it’s sort of OK, when placed against or within the paradigm of current E- music ”.

I submit, knowing you as I do, that such a response, while valid, would be inauthentic to you. 

So, now I ask you to consider Autechre 1993-98 vs. Autechre 2001-2008 as being analogous, for me, to your TD experience. Would you expect me to do as you do with Quaristice, and go: “Hey, this is really OK... it’s not rubbish anyway... might even be able to listen to some of it with something approaching pleasure”??

I submit, knowing me as you do, you’d say that such a response, while valid, would be inauthentic to me.

And I don’t feel bitter or vitriolic towards AE - just slightly sad and above all disappointed. But in a sense, as I hinted at earlier in this thread, it’s a fundamentally dumb response in that I should have learnt by now - I should have Dealt With It, Achieved Closure, and Moved On, because the last time I recall approaching the erstwhile Object of Desire with anything other than curiosity was 3 or 4 albums ago.

Anyway, if you wanna throw me a copy of the album, I’ll do more than frisbee-fy it, I’ll slate it for review (with the meaning of “slate”* being as yet unresolved ;))

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* slate [slayt]

Definition:

[...] 3. designate somebody: to choose or schedule somebody or something for a particular job or time You've been slated to be our next director.

The satellite is slated for launch in December.

4. U.K. subject somebody to harsh criticism: to criticize somebody or something severely (informal )

His last play was slated by the critics. [...]

                                        from http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861734621/slate.html
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« Last Edit: February 02, 2008, 07:29:55 AM by Undershadow »

darren bergstein

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Re: Autechre - is it worth it?
« Reply #42 on: February 02, 2008, 12:57:15 PM »
Yeah, nicely done, Darren. These days I’m more in Kranky mode than cranky mood :)
Anyway, sure, I get your drift, and I do take your point about artists situating themselves within a tradition and working it. But let me ask you to consider the matter of the validity and/or authenticity of my response to Autechre by analogy with your long-standing relationship with Tangerine Dream – an analogy which you almost invite in your post.


absolutely agree with you, kind sir. your analogy and subsequent correlations vis-a-vis autechre/td and their storied careers is well on-point and makes perfect sense. re: td specifically: 'force majeure' remains one of the touchstone recordings for me personally (i believe it was the first td album i bought), while many gave up after 'rubycon'. when they signed to private music, and then to miramar...yechhh. i have those records, but they're mere ciphers compared to what the band achieved and trailblazed years earlier. there *is* some valid work they've created since their post-70s heyday, but, yeah, they're but facsimilies of their former selves. i guess, like mssrs. booth & brown, the strive towards constant innovation usually leads to ideastic dead-ends and gratuitous repetition.

Anyway, if you wanna throw me a copy of the album, I’ll do more than frisbee-fy it, I’ll slate it for review (with the meaning of “slate”* being as yet unresolved ;))

oops, not to give you the wrong impression al.: i don't have a copy of 'quaristice' in my possession - i was simply being humorous. i haven't dealt with warp professionally in some time...maybe there's a message there. ;)
« Last Edit: February 02, 2008, 12:59:55 PM by darren bergstein »

michael sandler

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Re: Autechre - is it worth it?
« Reply #43 on: February 02, 2008, 05:52:24 PM »
Yeah, I see what you mean after checking out the YouTube vids. Their later stuff is not easy to listen to. Kind of sounds like avant-garde noodling as opposed to their old music which is songs.

Mike S.




Robert Logan

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Re: Autechre - is it worth it?
« Reply #44 on: February 02, 2008, 07:33:46 PM »
Yeah, I see what you mean after checking out the YouTube vids. Their later stuff is not easy to listen to. Kind of sounds like avant-garde noodling as opposed to their old music which is songs.

Mike S.





That is a perfectly valid opinion, but the quality of the audio in those youtube videos is so appalling that it is rather unfair to judge the tracks based on them. It would be unfair to judge any piece of music at that level of quality. I don't like the Draft one as much, but the CD-quality version of Ipacial Section is quite brilliant. imho.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2010, 05:41:25 AM by Robert Logan »

Mark Mushet

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Re: Autechre - is it worth it?
« Reply #45 on: February 02, 2008, 11:43:53 PM »
Yeah, I see what you mean after checking out the YouTube vids. Their later stuff is not easy to listen to. Kind of sounds like avant-garde noodling as opposed to their old music which is songs.

That is a perfectly valid opinion, but the quality of the audio in those youtube videos is so appalling that it is rather unfair to judge the tracks based on them. It would be unfair to judge any piece of music at that level of quality. I don't like the Draft one much at all anyway, but the CD-quality version of Ipacial Section is quite brilliant. imho.

I'd certainly avoid judging the production values based on those clips but they give enough sense of the overall structure and approach. Pop a set of phones into your computer and there's easily enough there to have a discussion over.

9dragons

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Re: Autechre - is it worth it?
« Reply #46 on: February 04, 2008, 08:19:30 PM »
I am getting sucked into it, actually getting a bit intrigued:

http://www.bleep.com/?bleep=WARPCDD333

There is something about the hipster-tronica of Warp label that makes it hard to resist when you are in the mood for refreshments. Listening to heavy-themed ambient all day may lead one to a weakness for electro-pop holidays in the sun. Many Warp titles sound so good and nice, fresh out of the box, then wear thin after the sugar coating has worn off.

But listening to the samples of the new Autechre, I'm starting to feel that they are at least serious about what they are doing. Earlier, after berating the latter period music, I listened to some of the samples from the albums which I had gotten rid of, and soon after found myself craving more. One thing can be said: there is nothing else out there that sounds like this. It is kind of addicting in a repellant way. And maybe only the idea of it sounds better than listening to or owning the actual album.

But Quaristice could be a nice compromise. I'm tempted.