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Oversteps

4.2 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Mar. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warp
  • ASIN: B0035BMK5Y
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,769 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

1. r ess
2. ilanders
3. known
4. pt2ph8
5. qplay
6. see on see
7. Treale
8. os veix3
9. O=0
10. d-sho qub
11. st epreo
12. redfall
13. krYlon
14. Yuop

BBC Review

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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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
After their most challenging triumvirate - Confield, Draft 7.30, Untilted - Autechre ('Ae') delivered something relatively accessible yet structurally fractured in the form of Quaristice in 2008. Oversteps continues their return from the extreme outer reaches of sound, while paradoxically representing their most interstellar tapestry to date. Yet you'll never feel like you've just been thrown from the airlock and into deep space. Ae haven't produced a record this warm since Amber.

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.
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Format: Audio CD
Stately, imposing, eerie... melodic (almost), Kubrickian... perhaps? While Oversteps' first few tracks appear to echo W.Carlos' autonomous reimaginings of the classics (for the A Clockwork Orange soundtrack), the final handful seem to reach further out into the void, the music suggesting an uncanny deep space melancholy befitting Tangerine Dream at their finest (i.e. Zeit), albeit rescored by Hal 9000. It's virtually impenetrable but utterly fascinating. My favourite Autechre album in some time.
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Format: Audio CD
This Autechre fan actually rather liked the direction Autechre took with all their albums after and including Chiastic Slide - especially the dizzyingly alien and imaginative heights hit by Confield and Draft 7.30. There is plenty of great music out there with clear melodies and harmonies and other conventional musical necessities, but what Autechre offered in their later records was a new kind of musical landscape: detailed and rich and full of emotion, but utterly unconventional.

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.
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Format: Audio CD
If your brain is capable, it will take a good year of going back to this album for it to fully sink in. It just has for me, to devastating effect. A truly wondrous creation of intricate beauty.
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Format: Audio CD
I have just listened to this for the first time and was very impressed. I sort of lost my way with autechre around confield and Draft 7.30 and this is the first time I have bought an album from them since!! I just felt the music went too far off the radar and I just did not enjoy listening to it, it was more of a chore!! But on first listen this sounds a great album, some thoughtful structure, melody and rhythm in a warp/autechre kind of way, yeah there is still a bit of mayhem etc.. but it is good mayhem, not the sort that makes you want to turn it off, the beats are very broken in parts but do not sound out of place and there are also beatless tracks that have some lush synths and basslines, for anyone like myself that didn't enjoy confield and Draft this will be a welcome surprise and this could turn out to be a very memorable album. Ilanders is my standout track, absolutely mental with a haunting synthline in the background!!!
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By Colin McCartney TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Mar. 2010
Format: Audio CD
Finally, Autechre have made an LP which sets out to entertain, rather than merely to impress. "Oversteps" is still unashamedly Warp-esque of course, but it goes stylistically more along the lines of Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada and Black Dog this time around, i.e. it won't automatically empty rooms at house parties (unlike too much of the duo's previous work).

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.
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