One way for a long-running electronic-music act to ensure their listeners stay freaked out and confounded — two emotional qualities that have been Autechre’s specialties since their dawning IDM days — is to release a double-album that clocks in at a little over two hours. Another is to make a hectic opening track that falls apart so drastically that listeners might wonder if their playback systems have entered their death throes. So it goes about halfway through “Fleure,” the first of 17 pointedly eclectic tracks on Autechre’s superabundant Exai. The album begins its dissertation on variety with the English duo’s patented mix of abstract haphazardness and meticulous organization, and they expand outward exponentially from there. The 10-minute “irlite (Get 0)” opens with a grotty mix of refracted beats and noise before drifting into a spell of (comparatively) sumptuous groove science, almost like an Autechre version of house music. Melodies snake and swerve through almost every track otherwise, taking their time to develop and resolve, when they resolve at all. And the beats — well, they bristle, bray, lean back, zoom forward, break up, and beam out toward the outer edges of the cosmos, where music so serious and austere might provide a suitable soundtrack.
By Philip Sherburne on 06.11.09 in Spotlights
No history of electronic music would be complete without a chapter dedicated to Kraftwerk, the German quartet who introduced synthesizers and chugging, "motorik" rhythms to pop music - and in so doing laid the groundwork...
By Philip Sherburne on 04.20.09 in Reviews
Where Tri Repetae offered its own kind of chaos — metal insect chatter and clouds of mercury dust — it hewed, generally speaking, to a traditional division of beats and melodies. As alien as it could sound, t...
By Piers Martin on 11.19.14 in Features
An in-depth interview with Chris Clark, dark horse of the Warp Records roster.
By Britt Robson on 10.07.14 in Features
Steven Ellison talks with Britt Robson about the influences behind 'You're Dead!'