Autechre's last album, Confield, was regarded by many as oppressively difficult, even verging on unlistenable. Others considered it their best work to date. Both groups will find things to like and dislike about Draft 7.30, but on the whole it's those who hoped that Autechre would retreat in some way from the "Confield" world of academic noise that will enjoy this album most. Complex rhythms still dominate, but distinct melodies are fighting to be heard in Draft 7.30, giving the album a warmth that their most recent releases have lacked.
This is most evident in "Surripere", the 11-minute epic that forms the centrepiece of the album. The track begins with the sort of synth melody Autechre haven't used since "Amber", and despite the violent intervention of what sounds like a very large boot squelching in mud (which forms the rhythm), the melody continues to form the basis of the track. P.:NTIL is another standout track: the crunching rhythm is secondary to the melody provided by what can only be described as paranoid wind chimes.
That said, this album can be just as "difficult" as Confield, and those hoping for some nice ambient electronica as an accompaniment to sleep are advised to look elsewhere. Draft 7.30 demands full attention and listening to the whole thing in one go is quite an undertaking. However, fans won't be disappointed, and Autechre may regain some listeners who were alienated by Confield's clinical coldness. Draft 7.30 feels like an altogether more organic affair.