Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Autechre - Oversteps
Autechre - Oversteps 03 known(1) by elpretentio2
Autechre - Oversteps 06 see on see by elpretentio2
Autechre - Oversteps 09 O=0 by elpretentio2
Goddamn, what a difficult album to review. This a major departure for them. But then again, it's not.
The main reason that this is such a hard album to review is because with Autechre, basically nothing (or everything, depending on how you look at it) is a departure for them. They've been pushing the boundaries of their sound with basically every new release since the outset of their musical careers.
One common factor seems to be the punchy, jabby staccato rhythms. It almost seems like the songs are boxing with you in an odd abstract sense; the way they burst and buzz around your head alternately in engaging, lush melodies and random spurts of chaos that border on jazz for lack of a better word (or maybe something called post-IDM? I dunno). It's very instrumental. You won't find too much of the pounding, crunched up, claustrophobic beats you'd have found on Untilted or certain segments of Quaristice. But that's not to say that certain parts of Oversteps aren't challenging in a similar way. I'd say that overall it's divided half and half by tracks that can be followed easily and are immediately engaging, and tracks that have that traditional Autechre learning curve. The latter of course being equally as rewarding for those with the patience or inclination for such a sound.
The most notable aspect though might be just how much this sounds like a complete work, a complete album. Call me old school, but I still firmly believe in the importance of the album as an art form. And this completely succeeds on that level. It's cohesive and varied to just the right degree. The pieces fit. And that might be what truly puts this over the edge.
Depending on where you stand in your previous opinion of this wicked alien group, this is will either be a near-masterpiece or at the very least, a solid piece of work with some really outstanding tracks. It feels complete.
Autechre's marathon 12-hour set for your listening pleasure. A fucking genius mix of old-school hip-hop, techno, and other randomness. starts getting pretty fucking epic at around 12:30. first couple hours are incredible for those (everyone obviously, including me) not willing to listen to the whole thing right away.
oh and uh, here's this: http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Asm8G_iuGEMzdDV3cmJEUzFnUlE4b3dzUjhaaVRRclE&hl=nl