Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop
Autechre will see the release of their 10th studio album, ''Oversteps'' this March 23rd. One of the most distinctive and revered electronic groups of all time, they've previously been commissioned to remix the likes of Ste... more »
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Autechre will see the release of their 10th studio album, ''Oversteps'' this March 23rd. One of the most distinctive and revered electronic groups of all time, they've previously been commissioned to remix the likes of Stereolab, Tortoise and Surgeon, and have notably been feted by Thom Yorke, with the Radiohead frontman stating on his official website that their 2001 album ''Confield'' ''made my head spin'', and citing Booth and Brown's work as an influence on his own Kid A and Amnesiac (of course Autechre themselves admit indifference to this).
Their latest work, still very much an Autechre record, shows an oft-overlooked playfulness and a rarely mentioned musicality that comes to the fore-front, in what could be described as their most accessible work to date. Between the layers of cold digital pings and fuzzed out tones, there are true chord changes and warm soundscapes being built from the ground up. As freelance writer David Abravanel (New York Magazine, Big Shot, Pop Matters..etc.) put it, Autechre's previous release, Quarterstice was ''the cool In A Silent Way to the more aggressively beautiful Bitches Brew of Oversteps. There are tracks here with the kind of ambient techno melodies that have scarce been present on an Autechre album since 1995's Tri Repetae. Where part of the thrill of Quaristice was the unmistakable sound of the duo wrestling with where to fit all the pieces, Oversteps beams with confidence; everything is fleshed out here.''
Catfood03 | in front of my computer typing reviews | 03/23/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The pre-release buzz from both fans and critics of Autechre's music on their 10th album, Oversteps, had some comparisons to their earliest work, more specifically their sophomore album Amber. While not totally off-base that comparison is merely a reference point for the direction the band has now embarked upon. Like the aforementioned classic, Oversteps could be heard as a return to form, but that would diminish the great records that the duo has released leading up to this point.
For once the focus is not on Autechre's trademark mind-bending warped beats and percussion, but the melodic notes that have been more often than not pushed back into the mix throughout the band's past discography. Perhaps taking a cue from the positive responses from the minority of ambient tracks that graced 2008's Quaristice, the new album now has these in greater abundance. It's an exciting change of pace. The beats, when they do appear, have greater punch to it. All the tracks (whether with beats or not) are dense, restless and convey a variety of emotion.
I find it difficult to explain Autechre's songs into words, partly because the elements that are referenced ("techno", "hip-hop", etc) are filtered into highly fractured compositions. I can only say that "r ess", "see on see", "treale", "qplay", "d-sho qub", "redfall" and "yuop" made strong favorable impressions on first listen and I'm sure will be joined by many others with repeated spins.
My only criticism of this recording is that some of the percussive elements sound a bit overly compressed (in "ilanders" and "st epreo" particularly, but elsewhere as well). Autechre have always left some of the rougher edges of their sound remain unpolished, but I think the music all around could benefit from more clarity in this regard. A minor complaint that does not detract form the overall quality of this release.
Oversteps is an unexpected surprise, showing a side of Autechre not heard in years, yet seamlessly integrated in the language of the band's music as it has progressed to this point.
Final Rating: 4.5 stars (I'm loving it more and more since my initial rating!)
A word about other editions of Oversteps currently available:
The LP version is a double album set. For those wondering about the high price tag than most double-album sets should know that there is a greater standard quality to the packaging. The outer jacket is a sturdy, heavy-set slipcase that holds the three inner sleeves inside. Two of these houses each record and a third that holds a double-sided poster (with the large black dot on the front and the track list on the back). The music itself is pressed on 180 gram vinyl, which is a bit heavier than standard albums and provides a cleaner, warmer sound. I experienced few problems with any excessive pops or clicks of my copy that sometimes accompany LP playback.
The Japan imported edition includes a bonus track called "Xektses sql". A little bit of subdued noise thrown in at the end that makes for a nice comedown from the intensity of "Yuop". It reminds me of the second half of "Sublimit" (from Untilted) in that it has a submerged quality to it. It has these bursts of muffled feedback which makes it really interesting, but at only 3 minutes its over fairly quickly. There's no real melody in it to speak of, which makes for one of the weaker tracks overall. This CD edition is not sold through the US Amazon store, but is available at Amazon's Japan store and other import sellers as well.
Another turn in the Autechre saga
Y. Jossa | NJ | 03/25/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Autechre are one of few "true artists" in the electronica field.
Their work has always been innovative, non-compromising and non-repetitive. Most Autechre albums are full of experimentation with sound and form, each new album being usually vastly different from the previous in its musical approach.
That is the case with Oversteps. Most fans (myself included) expected to hear something in the vein of the last two Autechre albums, which were mostly put together using recorded and edited jams the band had recorded live and in the studio.
Oversteps finds Autechre exploring the realms of quasi-ambient beatless music, and retro idm, focusing on melody over rhythm in a way they haven't done since their early releases.
The musical change featured in Oversteps is so unexpected, that most people wouldn't be able to inmediately identify this album as an Autechre album.
Gone is the rhythmic complexity of recent previous albums, being replaced my a new found love of strange atonal melodies.
The album starts with the surprising "r ess," a slow building piece with minimal beats, before is goes into "Ilanders," a more "modern-sounding" song (by Autechre standards), featuring the usual Autechrian warped Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1 beats. "known(1)" is a beatless piece, almost like a simple piano tune played through atonal additive synths and some really warped melodic synth patches. The next piece, "pt2ph8" is another beatless tune, very similar to its predecessor, Both songs sound like generic computer generated music without much form or structure.
Things get a little more interesting with "qplay," which starts with some slow ambience before it goes into some retro-idm minimal, changing beats and counter melodies. "see on see" is another beatless piece, with reverb-laden FM synths that do not seem to go anywhere.
The half point of the album is reached with "Treale", a more conventional retro-idm song with minimal 4/4 beats and some simple melodies.The next song, "os veix3" sounds like a continuation of "Treale" with minimal beats and not much else. "O=0" is a more structured and interesting tune featuring some nice strange melodies.
"d-sho qub" is an strange piece that goes in and out of ambient mode with some occasional beats and tons of reverb.
"st epreo" sounds like something right out of Quaristice, while "redfall" sounds like a retro Autechre piece from the 90s without the beats!
"krYlon" is a reminder of how awesome Autechre are: 6 minute plus exploration in nu-ambient, digital beatless, FM Synth sound manipulation. "yuop" brings the album to a grand closing with its epic sweeps of glitchy synths.
Some fans of the most recent Autechre work are probably going to hate this album, while some fans of their older work will welcome it.
This album sometimes sounds like a compendium of all Autechre albums, and at other times sounds nothing like them at all!
Rob & Sean are true musical geniuses, still not afraid to take chances and to explore new musical avenues, even if it means changing radically the sound of their music.
They Haven't Been This Atmospheric In a Decade
a | The Sun's Inverse Heart | 06/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is no reason not to give this 5 stars. They haven't been this good since Tri Repeatae. I love their later stuff, but definitely missed the atmospheres in their music. Chiastic Slide, LP5, EP7 and Confield are all just an inch below TR in terms of long-term listening, in my opinion. All in all, they're still my favorite albums of all time, and I rate them with my favorite music from any era.
The Pre-TR stuff was too simplistic for me. Paralel Suns on Quaristice came close to having a TR-era atmosphere, and had an amazing depth to it, but the album as a whole still had the same close-in feeling that they developed in Draft 7.30 and Untitled, which I like about as much as I like Amber.
This album is perfect, one of their best yet, integrating what they laid open in Confield with the earthy, subterranean reverbs in TR. Everything's got loads of reverb, but the unpredictable beats are there too. It's music that makes me want to draw, imagine, dream... But it's got its earthy side, like TR-era stuff."