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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
1. r ess
6. see on see
8. os veix3
10. d-sho qub
11. st epreo
Despite what over-analytical spoilsports might have you believe, Rochdale masters of electronic experimentation Autechre are a uniquely visceral entity. At their most tangible, indeed, the duo – long-time pals Sean Booth and Rob Brown – are less mathematical, intelligent dance music nightmare, more punk-spirited joy to behold.
For nearly two decades, across 10 albums, the acid house/original electro/hip hop-schooled Warp stalwarts have deconstructed techno and beyond into fascinating, ever-evolving abstract shapes. Oversteps is certainly no exception to their outwardly difficult aesthetic and could, on initial listens, get thrown in with unforgivingly tricksy 2003 set Draft 7.30.
Disregard the fact that the song titles largely resemble a Scrabble game with a corrupted Eastern European supercomputer, however. Beneath the icy exterior, deceptively warm hearts beat, rushing synthetic blood at thresholds with almost maniacal glee as they smash apart linear constraints.
Those already familiar are swiftly on reassuring ground. Second track ilanders is classic Autechre, lunar synth lines partially harking back to feted 1995 release Tri Repetae’s affectingly eerie atmospherics, fractured beats built and demolished with sentient android accuracy. It’s engrossing, an alien landscape you simply can’t extricate your ears from, every barbed glitch progressively snagging further wisps of your hearing.
There isn’t, it’s accurate to report, much immediacy here. But that was never Autechre’s forte. True to form, the immersing osmosis of repeated plays is the only method of absorbing Oversteps’ depths. A few moments do land instantly, though: known(1) re-imagines then mechanises ancient oriental zither strains with the unfolding beauty of an origami swan; O=0 chimes and tingles with Philip Glass-worthy dexterity; st epreo’s dense thicketed beat undergrowth grabs your cochleas.
And once Yuop evaporates into the ether it’s more than apparent why many people don’t exactly get Autechre, even plentiful converts who assume that they do. Perhaps Oversteps’ mantle even nods to the extra unnecessary layers of deep rumination their wares often attract. But by maintaining a ferocious appetite for streaming across territory few electronic musicians possess even a perception of, Autechre continue to test themselves and listeners alike with stunningly intricate results. --Adam Kennedy
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Top Customer Reviews
Don't get me wrong, there are still the scattershot beats, trickling half-melodies, and distant explosions of eerie ambient sound. But there are also very few juxtapositions that'll make feel you've been struck with a blackjack from behind; and never are Brown and Booth tempted to let a track play out in a morass of conflicting sounds. 14 tracks, none over seven minutes, and all cut from the same cosmic cloth.
Standout pieces include the vast 'ilanders'; 'qplay', which sounds like a grumpy robot waking up and remembering how to use his limbs; 'Treale' (so good it deserves the capitalisation); and the amusingly argumentative 'redfall'.
When a band has innovated to the extent that Ae have, it's hard to conclude whether they're still doing so, or whether they're simply refining the sound they defined. But perhaps we should simply be glad that with each new Ae release, we're still hearing something we never thought our ears would hear - and so another hidden corner of our mind is mapped.
Thus, Oversteps is something of a disappointment. Their first three records and their accompanying EPs were fine albums, and there is nothing wrong with the idea Autechre returning to melody, but the new album is perhaps a little too on the soft side. Though there are many moments of fierce beauty, the energy in Oversteps withers a little towards the end, and the use of the same or similar synth tones track after track begins to take away from the power of the CD overall. What happened to their unusual, varied, complex, mind-bending sound design on this one? A fine album, then, but not the grand return (as if Autechre needed to return, anyway) people are saying it is.
Even the titles make more sense than before:
"r ess" - hmmm...R, S - that's Rob and Sean, right!?
"ilanders" - easy - Islanders, or perhaps if you say it in a Manc accent, Highlanders?
"krYlon" - Cry Alone, maybe (or maybe not)?
"d-sho qub" - OK, I give up now...The Times crossword's not as hard as this.
The record marks a return of sorts to the Autechre of Warp's "Artificial Intelligence" era. Downtempo and melodic, it's somewhere on a connecting plane between Richard H Kirk and Ryuichi Sakamoto. I first played it late on a freezing cold and snowy winter's night in mid-February and it fitted the vibe perfectly.
Maybe Autechre are mellowing out in their old age, or maybe one or both of them fell in love? But this is the best (or at least the most pleasant-sounding) thing they've done in a very long time.
Fans of the early-mid Warp sound should buy without hesitation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My favourite Autechre album has always been LP5, which had just the right mix of ambience, melody, melancholy and avant-garde noise. Read morePublished on 11 Dec. 2010 by Greg
After the weirdness and abstract almost completely bereft of musical ideas from previous 4 albums released after LP5 (which was good) - Oversteps finally goes full circle back to... Read morePublished on 25 April 2010 by Tec-know
The direction of this record immediately
reminded me of boards of canada's third album. Not because they
sound anything like each other, but because there is a much... Read more
Yes I agree it's definatly one of their best for awhile now..I've owned all Autechre's albums,but only retain 3 having sold the others off due to extreme noise terror.. Read morePublished on 7 April 2010 by Minky Starshine
For me, Autechre reached a creative peak with `Confield' and `Draft 7.30'. The albums before, starting with the earliest works, were just steps on the road to achieving what I... Read morePublished on 1 April 2010 by ESP
After waiting impatiently for this CD hoping it would match the sublime moments of Amber and parts of Tri Repetae I was yet again disappointed. For me Autechre have had their day. Read morePublished on 22 Mar. 2010 by David Bass