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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 106 - 05/23/05

Autechre
Untilted
Warp

"Lcc" begins an incredible 9-step beat that is transposed and retrogressed over about 4 minutes. Atonal for long periods of time, the few tones that can break through are half-images. Harmonies, while present, are like high-atmosphere cirrus clouds. Basslines are presented then torn apart, 128th note at a time. "Ipacial Section" beeps and bangs. There's an obligato 8-step hi-hat that swishes away at a quick nearly-200 bpms, framing arhythmic super-fast drum sampling. One of several lengthy songs on this record, "Ipacial Section" stays interesting, employing the brilliant rhythmic augmentations and diminutions Autechre are known for. The sounds are bizarre, to say the least. Over the life of the tune, samples/patches play out an incredible electro-drama, an entire sim-city of little snippets of sonic characters.

In "Pro Radii", Autechre allows itself to be muddy and fluidic. Identifiable samples of crowd-sound break through, hightening the sense of haunt and mystery. At half-way, a ghostly melody moves in odd ways, alternately going in and coming out of the song's reality. Various 8-step beats carry us to the denouement of the song, where a soft Autechre chord progression sooths whilst concurrent beats pound you. "Augmatic Disport" also pounds, but instead of slow and heavy hits, it beats you with a thousand tiny nails at a lighting pace. And it does it for a whopping 6 minutes. The last 3 minutes slow down and let you catch some air with an almost-sleazy beat, a type of beat autechre isn't so known for. Awesome song.

I recommend an intermission at the half-point of the album.

--- I N T E R M I S S I O N ---

Untilted [Sides C & D]

The C-Side begins somewhat less intense with "Iera". While the rhythms are basically patternless, there is a definite calm to this song. As with all of Autechre's work, the arranging is phenomenal. The way these tiny and innumerable beats are put together is sheer genius. "Fermium", a really cool name for a song, is almost reminiscent of other "IDM"; Autechre usually are a sound of their complete own. A strait ahead 4-step carries us along, interpolations become more and more complex among internal rhythms as the song continues. "Fermium" dies an interesting death, each beat-collapse an other step towards the song's afterlife.

"The Trees" sports an other lovely song-title. An other mid-tempo 4-step buoys us, as compound time slowly takes over. A starkly atonal piece, "The Trees" has very little that is memorable. In general, it's not an easy task picking out certain Autechre songs, because a lot of times there's no melody or harmony at all. This is intriguing. "The Trees" dies its own death, much in the way of "Fermium".

"Sublimit", the last track, is 15:22 and combines in one big saucepan the technique of Untitled. Syncopations bounce under a 4-step while 256th notes stab. Parts of "Sublimit" go further than anything else on this album to innovate Autechre's sound. For instance, the section that starts with the amazing bass-line and snare rhythms that enter at the 3:22 mark. This long song sums up Autechre's current sound, and it's taking them to new places. This album adds yet another otherworldly piece of art to Autechre's catalogue.

Copyright © 2005 Bill Banks e-mail address

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