(Photo by tomc2)
When I started to listen to electronic music, I had to really force myself, to really put the effort in. Autechre's Chiastic Sounds is exactly the sort of record that would have put me off in those days, an impenetrable, inorganic, pure sound that takes concentration before appreciation. Thankfully, the likes of Four Tet gave me something more of a way in - Keiran Hebden taught me that electronic music can be home to unbridled creativity in the way that indie, or rock, or pop just can't. Caribou taught me that a song can be completely electronic and yet structure itself as a real song, and be organic, and moving. Adem and Clue To Kalo taught me that put vocals in the right place and you have a thing of beauty that transcends what most people will produce. I could go on.
I guess now, then, is the time to explore, to delve into those acts that perhaps put me off at the time. Now is the time to explore Aphex Twin's vast catalogue, or Squarepusher's similarly substantial ouevre. Now is the time to look at Autechre.
Autechre (pronounced originally in the Rochdale fashion, i.e Aw-teck-er, although apparently any pronunciation is fine) make cold, stark music. Imagine the piece constructed entirely of sine waves that I was talking about yesterday, but with the sine waves permutated into something that is almost entirely rhythm. Something that's metallic and clangy, yet compelling and genuinely listenable. Something that changes so little throughout an entire piece that you start to forget about what could be construed as monotony, and start celebrating those little touches, the flourishes that make the piece so individual. As I said, it's so stark, so entirely inorganic that the sound takes on a feeling very different to most of it's peers.
And so, I wax lyrical. But where does one start with an act on Warp - habit would have it that Warp acts release loads, EP's, singles, different mixes, albums, you name it. Just try cutting in to get a representative slice of Aphex Twin. Fortunately, a friend made the decision for me by lending me 1997's Chiastic Slide, an album of such stark grandeur that it would have frightened me right off not too long ago. The title of this post is taken from an Amazon review, and the general gist of that, and others, is that this is a good entry point. I am glad for it. Let us broaden our horizons together, my friend, and journey into the world of Autechre.
Autechre - Cal Bruc (from Chiastic Slide)
Autechre - Foil (from Amber - originally sourced from Funtime OK)
Autechre - Flutter (from Four Tet's DJ Kicks compilation)
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Tags: electronica; Autechre; Four Tet; Warp Records; Rochdale